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Table 3 Important symptoms, other than 'rectal bleeding', before diagnosis in colorectal cancer patients. Cohort study with 61,802 patients in primary care (2011–12)

From: Symptoms and signs of colorectal cancer, with differences between proximal and distal colon cancer: a prospective cohort study of diagnostic accuracy in primary care

Colorectal cancer   A B
N Sensitivity   Specificity   PPV   Sensitivity  
All Males Females All 95% CI   95% CI All 95% CI All 95% CI/Location
Abdominal pain, lower part' 94 35 59 14.9% 9.1–23.5 96.6% 96.4–96.7 0.7% 0.4–1.1 30.9% 22.4–40.8
'Abdominal pain, lower part' and cancer (A): 14 6 8         
'Abdominal pain, lower part' and cancer (B): 29 13 16         8 proximal, 11 distal, 5 unspecified, 5 rectal
'Abdominal pain, lower part', without cancer: 2084 patients            
No abdominal pain, lower part, no cancer: 59,078 patients            
'Constipation'     13.8% 8.3–22.2 98.9% 98.8–99.0 1.9% 1.1–3.2 22.3% 15.1–31.8
'Constipation' and cancer (A): 13 5 8         
'Constipation' and cancer (B): 21 7 14         3 proximal, 4 distal, 6 unspecified, 8 rectal
'Constipation', without cancer: 676 patients            
No constipation, no cancer: 60,486 patients            
'Distended abdomen, bloating'     12.8% 7.5–21.0 98.4% 98.3–98.5 1.2% 0.7–2.0 12.8% 7.5–21.0
'Distended abdomen, bloating', and cancer (A): 12 6 6         
'Distended abdomen, bloating', and cancer (B): 12 6 6         1 proximal, 4 distal, 2 unspecified, 5 rectal
'Distended abdomen, bloating', without cancer: 1011 patients            
No distended abdomen, bloating, no cancer: 60,151 patients            
  1. A: Sensitivity, specificity and PPV based on consultation recordings for all patients. B: Sensitivity based on all recordings from consultation to diagnosis in colorectal cancer patients, and colorectal location