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When should unexpected weight loss warrant further investigation to exclude cancer

Published on Sep 23, 2019in BMJ27.60
· DOI :10.1136/bmj.l5271
Brian D Nicholson6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Oxford),
Paul Aveyard46
Estimated H-index: 46
(University of Oxford)
+ 1 AuthorsMarites Derit44
Estimated H-index: 44
(University of Oxford)
Abstract
### What you need to know Unexpected weight loss presents a diagnostic challenge in primary care. It is associated with a wide range of benign and serious conditions (box 1).1 Box 1 ### Differential diagnosis for patients with unexpected weight loss1RETURN TO TEXT Weight loss may be missed or misattributed because of several factors (see box 2). Once it is detected, the uncertainty for clinicians is not about whether unexpected weight loss is a symptom of concern, it is about who should be investigated further and who can be spared unnecessary investigation. Specifically, how much weight loss, over how much time, in combination with what other clinical features makes cancer sufficiently likely to warrant urgent investigation? Box 2 ### Challenges in detecting weight loss in primary care #### Physiological factorsRETURN TO TEXT
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References46
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#1Mm Koo (UCL: University College London)H-Index: 3
#2Willie Hamilton (University of Exeter)H-Index: 56
Last.Georgios Lyratzopoulos (University of Cambridge)H-Index: 21
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#1Audrey Loumaye (UCL: Université catholique de Louvain)H-Index: 6
#2Jean-Paul Thissen (UCL: Université catholique de Louvain)H-Index: 3
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