The Danish Head and Neck Cancer fast-track program: A tertiary cancer centre experience

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Introduction: During the 1990s, all Nordic countries except for Denmark experienced a general increase in 5-year survival rates for cancer patients. In 2007, the Danish National Board of Health in collaboration with national multidisciplinary cancer groups and the Danish regions initiated fast-track clinical pathway solutions. Objectives: The objectives of this study were 1) to present the setup of the head and neck cancer (HNC) fast-track program at Odense University Hospital (OUH) as an example of the Danish model and 2) to present patient characteristics, diagnostic outcome, cancer detection rate, and duration of the fast-track patient courses. Materials and methods: From 1st July 2012 to 1st September 2015, all patients referred to the HNC fast-track program at OUH for diagnostics and treatment were consecutively included in the study resulting in 3165 patient courses. Results: The overall malignancy detection rate was 40.6% and for HNC it was 29.2%. The overall median fast-track course duration was 12 days (range 0-74). Overall 2990 (94.5%) of 3165 patients completed their fast-track course within the maximally permitted course duration. Discussion and conclusion: Based on our findings, it was concluded that: 1) a HNC fast-track program build on pre-booked slots for diagnostics and treatment is feasible and can secure acceptable course durations for more than 90% of patient courses, 2) by using private ENT specialists as a 'filter-function', an acceptable detection rate can be achieved.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Cancer
Sider (fra-til)133-139
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2018