Delay in seeking care for cancer symptoms: A population-based study of elderly new mexicans

Jonathan M. Samet, William C. Hunt, Mary L. Lerchen, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations


To characterize the delay by the elderly in seeking care for cancer symptoms, we interviewed 800 New Mexicans, =65 years of age, with newly diagnosed cancer. Overall, 29.4% of the subjects were asymptomatic when cancer was detected, and 48.0% presented within 2 months of symptom onset. However, 19.2% of the subjects delayed seeking care for at least 12 weeks and 7.4% delayed at least 1 year. Site of cancer was the strongest determinant of delay. Hispanics tended to report longer delay than non-Hispanics, and age was not associated with delay. Of the numerous other factors considered, only having a regular checkup was significantly associated with delay interval. [J Natl Cancer Inst 1988; 80: 432-438].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-438
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 18 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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