Cancer 2 – From Symptom to Treatment

Cancer 2 – From Symptom to Treatment

Optimizing the investigation of cancer

Since 2005, the Board of the Novo Nordisk Foundation has initiated three research projects with the aim of obtaining well-documented evidence on ways of helping reduce delays, improve care pathways and improve communication in Denmark’s health care system in the cancer treatment area.

“From symptom to treatment – optimizing the investigation of cancer” is the second of these projects. The project aims to identify the reasons for the extended time between people experiencing the first symptom and treatment being initiated. What influences people’s behaviour in reporting their symptoms late? How can family physicians and general practitioners be trained to identify people with cancer symptoms more quickly? How can the collaboration in the health sector related to people with cancer be optimized? What are the reasons for the considerable delays and long investigation pathways?

In 2010, the Foundation and the Danish Cancer Society each awarded grants of DKK 15 million for the project over 5 years. In order to ensure that a research question was selected that could be explored, the Danish Cancer Society and the Foundation held a workshop with relevant researchers to discuss possible ways of formulating the research question before the project was opened to competition.

The Foundation awarded the grant to a research group led by Peter Vedsted, who subsequently established the Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care at Aarhus University. The Centre was officially opened on 8 January 2010.

The Foundation’s vision is that the results of the project will influence not only cancer treatment but all parts of Denmark’s health care system – especially in managing chronic disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders.