About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Cancer Patients in Advanced Stages of Their Disease Overestimate Chemotherapy’s Ability to Cure

by Kathy Jones on October 27, 2012 at 4:03 PM
Font : A-A+

 Cancer Patients in Advanced Stages of Their Disease Overestimate Chemotherapy’s Ability to Cure

A new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers has found that lung and colorectal cancer patients who are in advanced stages of the disease tend to be more optimistic about the chances of their disease being cured by chemotherapy.

The study, published in the Oct. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found that 69 percent of patients with advanced lung cancer and 81 percent of patients with advanced colorectal cancer did not understand that the chemotherapy they were receiving was not at all likely to cure their disease. Their expectations run counter to the fact that although chemotherapy can alleviate pain and extend life in such patients by weeks or months, it is not a cure for these types of advanced cancer except in the rarest of circumstances.

Advertisement

The findings come from the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium (CanCORS), a large nationwide study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute to understand many facets of cancer care in the United States. The study's lead author is Jane Weeks, MD, MSc, who is the CanCORS Consortium's scientific chair and is director of the McGraw/Patterson Center for Population Sciences at Dana-Farber, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health.

The study was conducted by surveying 1,274 patients at hospitals, clinics and treatment centers across the country and by undertaking comprehensive review of their records. Study participants had been diagnosed with metastatic lung or colorectal cancer at least four months earlier and had received chemotherapy for their disease.
Advertisement

While previous studies had polled cancer patients about their perceptions of chemotherapy, this was the first to involve such a large and varied cross-section of the population. The study revealed that inaccurate expectations about the role of chemotherapy were found among patients from varied backgrounds treated in many different health care settings across the U.S.

Weeks noted that "If patients do not know whether a treatment offers a realistic possibility of cure, their ability to make informed treatment decisions that are consistent with their preferences may be compromised. This misunderstanding may pose obstacles to optimal end-of-life planning."

Surprisingly, patients who rated their communication with their physician highly were the most likely to hold overoptimistic views about chemotherapy's curative potential. While there is no doubt that communication about prognosis in advanced cancer is challenging, a sizeable minority of study participants did grasp the incurable nature of their cancers. Study co-author Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH, said that "skilled clinicians can set realistic expectations without their patients' losing either hope or trust." However, further research will be necessary to identify strategies to help physicians more consistently set realistic expectations and thereby help patients make good decisions about their care.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
COVID Toes
International Yoga Day 2022 - 'Yoga for Humanity'
Wearable Devices Are Now Transforming Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, and Epilepsy Management.
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment Non-Communicable Diseases 

Most Popular on Medindia

Iron Intake Calculator Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Blood Donation - Recipients The Essence of Yoga Accident and Trauma Care Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Noscaphene (Noscapine) Diaphragmatic Hernia

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE