In-1,405 patients who died at the General Hospital of Trieste in 1974 and 1978, malignant neoplasm was revealed at autopsy. Clinical diagnosis was accurate in 54 per cent of these patients. The tumor was clinically suspected in 19 per cent and was undiagnosed in 27 per cent. The accuracy of the clinical diagnoses varied significantly according to the primary site and type of tumor; accuracy was inversely related to the age of the patient and varied also according to the department of the hospital to which the patient had been admitted. This latter variation is age-dependent, too. In the past decades clinical diagnosis of malignancy has not greatly improved, although the autopsy rate has almost everywhere strongly decreased, representing a heavy handicap in the epidemiologic research on cancer as a cause of death.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine