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Why do surgeons miss malignancies in patients with acute abdominal pain?
Department of Surgery, Mora Hospital, Mora.
The Department of Surgical Sciences, Akademiska sjukhuset, Colorectal Unit, Uppsala University, SE 751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.
2006 (English)In: Anticancer Research, ISSN 0250-7005, E-ISSN 1791-7530, Vol. 26, no 5B, 3675-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to characterize patients seeking medical advice for acute abdominal pain who were later diagnosed with an intra-abdominal malignancy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with acute abdominal pain were registered between 1997 and 2000, employing a detailed schedule comprising 111 parameters. The diagnoses (n=2395 patients) were re-evaluated one year later.

RESULTS: A total of 66 patients (2.8%) were found to have an intra-abdominal malignancy at follow-up, of whom 37 cases had been undetected at discharge. Malignancy of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas constituted 30% and colorectal cancer 32% of the tumours undetected at discharge. Constipation, intestinal obstruction and non-specific abdominal pain (NSAP) were the most common preliminary diagnoses in patients among whom abdominal malignancy was later detected.

CONCLUSION: Except for age and pain duration, the history and clinical investigation provide few clues to suggest an abdominal malignancy in patients with acute abdominal pain. NSAP, of unknown or known etiology, including constipation, should be suspected as a possible sign of abdominal malignancy in all patients over 50 years of age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 26, no 5B, 3675-8 p.
National Category
Gastroenterology and Hepatology Surgery Cancer and Oncology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91668PubMedID: 17094384OAI: diva2:737634
Available from: 2014-08-13 Created: 2014-08-13 Last updated: 2014-08-13

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