Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

Presenting symptoms among oesophagogastric cancer patients at a regional Loddon Mallee hospital (#163)

Michael Leach 1 , Carol Gibbins 1 , Yachna Shethia 1 , Amanda Robinson 1 , Mwila Kabwe 1 , Ilana Solo 1 , Carol Parker 2
  1. Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Service (LMICS), Bendigo, VICTORIA, Australia
  2. Research and Development, Bendigo Health, Bendigo, VICTORIA, Australia


Oesophagogastric (OG) cancers impact on quality of life and have poor survival outcomes. As OG cancers are uncommon and have some non-specific symptoms (e.g. weight loss), they can be challenging to detect early. This study aimed to quantify the extent of presenting symptoms among OG cancer patients at a hospital in the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria.



The Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR) was used to identify patients with a diagnosis of OG cancer (International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems-10 diagnosis codes C15 and C16) at a regional hospital over 1/7/2016-31/12/2017. An audit of presenting symptoms was conducted in electronic hospital systems. Proportions of OG cancer patients who presented with each individual symptom, and each two-way combination of dysphagia with another symptom, were calculated. Numbers <5 (<10%) were censored to meet VCR privacy requirements.



Fifty OG cancer patients were diagnosed at the regional hospital. The median age of subjects was 70 years and 78% were male. Metastatic disease was found in 36% of the cohort. Subjects presented with dysphagia (62%), weight loss (36%), constipation (18%), chest pain (14%), nausea/vomiting (14%), reflux (12%), epigastric pain (<10%), dyspepsia (<10%), and abdominal pain (<10%). Dysphagia was observed with all other symptoms: weight loss (28%), chest pain (10%), nausea/vomiting (10%), low haemoglobin (<10%), constipation (<10%), abdominal pain (<10%), dyspepsia (<10%), epigastric pain (<10%), and reflux (<10%).



Among OG cancer patients diagnosed at a regional Loddon Mallee hospital, the most common presenting symptoms were dysphagia and weight loss. This proportion was greater than in a UK study[1], likely reflecting the relatively high percentage of metastatic disease in our cohort (36% compared with 0.1%). General practitioners ought to be vigilant for OG cancer symptoms such as dysphagia and weight loss, particularly in combination.

  1. British Journal of Cancer. 2013 Jan 15; 108(1): 25-31.