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Volume 2010, Article ID 312648, 3 pages
Review Article

‘‘Two-Week Waits’’—Are They Leading to Earlier Diagnosis of Soft-Tissue Sarcomas?

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Bristol Road South, Birmingham B31 2AP, UK

Received 30 June 2010; Accepted 6 September 2010

Academic Editor: Martin H. Robinson

Copyright © 2010 W. St. J. Taylor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. The ‘‘two-week wait’’ was established as a potential means of diagnosing malignant tumours earlier. This paper investigated whether these clinics are leading to earlier diagnosis of malignant soft-tissue lumps. Method. We identified all referrals to our centre from a database over a 4-year period. Results. 2225 patients were referred to our unit for investigation of a soft-tissue mass. 576 (26%) were referred under the ‘‘two-week wait’’ criteria. 153 (27%) of which were found to have a malignant or borderline malignant diagnosis. 1649 patients were referred nonurgently. 855 (52%) of which were diagnosed with a malignant or borderline lesion. The average size at diagnosis was 9.4 cm with no difference in size between the different referral routes. Conclusion. There is little evidence that the two-week wait clinic is leading to earlier diagnosis of soft-tissue sarcomas with the majority still being referred nonurgently.