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      Association Between Purchase of Over-the-Counter Medications and Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis in the Cancer Loyalty Card Study (CLOCS): Observational Case-Control Study

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          Abstract

          Background

          Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are frequently used to self-care for nonspecific ovarian cancer symptoms prior to diagnosis. Monitoring such purchases may provide an opportunity for earlier diagnosis.

          Objective

          The aim of the Cancer Loyalty Card Study (CLOCS) was to investigate purchases of OTC pain and indigestion medications prior to ovarian cancer diagnosis in women with and without ovarian cancer in the United Kingdom using loyalty card data.

          Methods

          An observational case-control study was performed comparing purchases of OTC pain and indigestion medications prior to diagnosis in women with (n=153) and without (n=120) ovarian cancer using loyalty card data from two UK-based high street retailers. Monthly purchases of pain and indigestion medications for cases and controls were compared using the Fisher exact test, conditional logistic regression, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.

          Results

          Pain and indigestion medication purchases were increased among cases 8 months before diagnosis, with maximum discrimination between cases and controls 8 months before diagnosis (Fisher exact odds ratio [OR] 2.9, 95% CI 2.1-4.1). An increase in indigestion medication purchases was detected up to 9 months before diagnosis (adjusted conditional logistic regression OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.04-1.83). The ROC analysis for indigestion medication purchases showed a maximum area under the curve (AUC) at 13 months before diagnosis (AUC=0.65, 95% CI 0.57-0.73), which further improved when stratified to late-stage ovarian cancer (AUC=0.68, 95% CI 0.59-0.78).

          Conclusions

          There is a difference in purchases of pain and indigestion medications among women with and without ovarian cancer up to 8 months before diagnosis. Facilitating earlier presentation among those who self-care for symptoms using this novel data source could improve ovarian cancer patients’ options for treatment and improve survival.

          Trial Registration

          ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03994653; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03994653

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          Most cited references20

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          Global cancer statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries

          This article provides an update on the global cancer burden using the GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Worldwide, an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases (18.1 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) and almost 10.0 million cancer deaths (9.9 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) occurred in 2020. Female breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases (11.7%), followed by lung (11.4%), colorectal (10.0 %), prostate (7.3%), and stomach (5.6%) cancers. Lung cancer remained the leading cause of cancer death, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths (18%), followed by colorectal (9.4%), liver (8.3%), stomach (7.7%), and female breast (6.9%) cancers. Overall incidence was from 2-fold to 3-fold higher in transitioned versus transitioning countries for both sexes, whereas mortality varied <2-fold for men and little for women. Death rates for female breast and cervical cancers, however, were considerably higher in transitioning versus transitioned countries (15.0 vs 12.8 per 100,000 and 12.4 vs 5.2 per 100,000, respectively). The global cancer burden is expected to be 28.4 million cases in 2040, a 47% rise from 2020, with a larger increase in transitioning (64% to 95%) versus transitioned (32% to 56%) countries due to demographic changes, although this may be further exacerbated by increasing risk factors associated with globalization and a growing economy. Efforts to build a sustainable infrastructure for the dissemination of cancer prevention measures and provision of cancer care in transitioning countries is critical for global cancer control.
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            Ovarian cancer population screening and mortality after long-term follow-up in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS): a randomised controlled trial

            Background Ovarian cancer continues to have a poor prognosis with the majority of women diagnosed with advanced disease. Therefore, we undertook the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) to determine if population screening can reduce deaths due to the disease. We report on ovarian cancer mortality after long-term follow-up in UKCTOCS. Methods In this randomised controlled trial, postmenopausal women aged 50–74 years were recruited from 13 centres in National Health Service trusts in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Exclusion criteria were bilateral oophorectomy, previous ovarian or active non-ovarian malignancy, or increased familial ovarian cancer risk. The trial management system confirmed eligibility and randomly allocated participants in blocks of 32 using computer generated random numbers to annual multimodal screening (MMS), annual transvaginal ultrasound screening (USS), or no screening, in a 1:1:2 ratio. Follow-up was through national registries. The primary outcome was death due to ovarian or tubal cancer (WHO 2014 criteria) by June 30, 2020. Analyses were by intention to screen, comparing MMS and USS separately with no screening using the versatile test. Investigators and participants were aware of screening type, whereas the outcomes review committee were masked to randomisation group. This study is registered with ISRCTN, 22488978, and ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT00058032. Findings Between April 17, 2001, and Sept 29, 2005, of 1 243 282 women invited, 202 638 were recruited and randomly assigned, and 202 562 were included in the analysis: 50 625 (25·0%) in the MMS group, 50 623 (25·0%) in the USS group, and 101 314 (50·0%) in the no screening group. At a median follow-up of 16·3 years (IQR 15·1–17·3), 2055 women were diagnosed with tubal or ovarian cancer: 522 (1·0%) of 50 625 in the MMS group, 517 (1·0%) of 50 623 in the USS group, and 1016 (1·0%) of 101 314 in the no screening group. Compared with no screening, there was a 47·2% (95% CI 19·7 to 81·1) increase in stage I and 24·5% (−41·8 to –2·0) decrease in stage IV disease incidence in the MMS group. Overall the incidence of stage I or II disease was 39·2% (95% CI 16·1 to 66·9) higher in the MMS group than in the no screening group, whereas the incidence of stage III or IV disease was 10·2% (−21·3 to 2·4) lower. 1206 women died of the disease: 296 (0·6%) of 50 625 in the MMS group, 291 (0·6%) of 50 623 in the USS group, and 619 (0·6%) of 101 314 in the no screening group. No significant reduction in ovarian and tubal cancer deaths was observed in the MMS (p=0·58) or USS (p=0·36) groups compared with the no screening group. Interpretation The reduction in stage III or IV disease incidence in the MMS group was not sufficient to translate into lives saved, illustrating the importance of specifying cancer mortality as the primary outcome in screening trials. Given that screening did not significantly reduce ovarian and tubal cancer deaths, general population screening cannot be recommended. Funding National Institute for Health Research, Cancer Research UK, and The Eve Appeal.
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              Variation in number of general practitioner consultations before hospital referral for cancer: findings from the 2010 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey in England.

              Information from patient surveys can help to identify patient groups and cancers with the greatest potential for improvement in the experience and timeliness of cancer diagnosis. We aimed to examine variation in the number of pre-referral consultations with a general practitioner between patients with different cancers and sociodemographic characteristics. We analysed data from 41,299 patients with 24 different cancers who took part in the 2010 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey in England. We examined variation in the number of general practitioner consultations with cancer symptoms before hospital referral to diagnose cancer. Logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of three or more pre-referral consultations, adjusting for cancer type, age, sex, deprivation quintile, and ethnic group. We identified wide variation between cancer types in the proportion of patients who had visited their general practitioner three or more times before hospital referral (7·4% [625 of 8408] for breast cancer and 10·1% [113 of 1124] for melanoma; 41·3% [193 of 467] for pancreatic cancer and 50·6% [939 of 1854] for multiple myeloma). In multivariable analysis, with patients with rectal cancer as the reference group, those with subsequent diagnosis of multiple myeloma (odds ratio [OR] 3·42, 95% CI 3·01-3·90), pancreatic cancer (2·35, 1·91-2·88), stomach cancer (1·96, 1·65-2·34), and lung cancer (1·68, 1·48-1·90) were more likely to have had three or more pre-referral consultations; conversely patients with subsequent diagnosis of breast cancer (0·19; 0·17-0·22), melanoma (0·34, 0·27-0·43), testicular cancer (0·47, 0·33-0·67), and endometrial cancer (0·59, 0·49-0·71) were more likely to have been referred to hospital after only one or two consultations. The probability of three or more pre-referral consultations was greater in young patients (OR for patients aged 16-24 years vs 65-74 years 2·12, 95% CI 1·63-2·75; p<0·0001), those from ethnic minorities (OR for Asian vs white 1·73, 1·45-2·08; p<0·0001; OR for black vs white 1·83, 1·51-2·23; p<0·0001), and women (OR for women vs men 1·28, 1·21-1·36; p<0·0001). We identified strong evidence of interactions between cancer type and age group and sex (p<0·0001 for both), and between age and ethnicity (p=0·0013). The model including these interactions showed a particularly strong sex effect for bladder cancer (OR for women vs men 2·31, 95% CI 1·98-2·69) and no apparent ethnic group differences in young patients aged 16-24 years, whilst the only cancers without an apparent age gradient were testicular cancer and mesothelioma. Our findings could help to prioritise and stratify early diagnosis initiatives and research, focusing on patients with cancers and sociodemographic characteristics with the largest potential for improvement. None. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                JMIR Public Health Surveill
                JMIR Public Health Surveill
                JPH
                JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                2369-2960
                2023
                26 January 2023
                : 9
                : e41762
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Surgery and Cancer Faculty of Medicine Imperial College London London United Kingdom
                [2 ] Department of Behavioural Science and Health University College London London United Kingdom
                [3 ] School of Public Health Faculty of Medicine Imperial College London London United Kingdom
                [4 ] Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences University of Birmingham Birmingham United Kingdom
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: James M Flanagan j.flanagan@ 123456imperial.ac.uk
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5495-8597
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0167-9428
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8341-5436
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6133-8206
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5843-3015
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4955-1383
                Article
                v9i1e41762
                10.2196/41762
                9912145
                36701184
                b24c96b8-b5c1-4c74-8176-fd31b02ecc79
                ©Hannah R Brewer, Yasemin Hirst, Marc Chadeau-Hyam, Eric Johnson, Sudha Sundar, James M Flanagan. Originally published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance (https://publichealth.jmir.org), 26.01.2023.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://publichealth.jmir.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                History
                : 8 August 2022
                : 13 October 2022
                : 18 October 2022
                : 30 November 2022
                Categories
                Original Paper
                Original Paper

                ovarian cancer,early diagnosis,transactional data,health informatics,cancer risk,medication,self-medication,self-care,over-the-counter medication,nonspecific symptoms,pain medication,indigestion medication

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