The French League Against Cancer has announced that it will be creating a new 'breast cancer dictionary' in order to bridge the gap that inadvertently develops between a doctor and a patient due to the lack of understanding of complex medical terminology by the latter. This announcement was made at the European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-5), today.
It is generally accepted that most patients want to get to know as much information as possible about their disease, but are unable to understand the terminology. Understanding the need to make some key concepts easy to understand, French Universities
collaborated with the French League Against Cancer to build a patient oriented dictionary of terms. The main aim of the project was to create a dictionary of the terms that could be easily understood in lay language. The researchers followed health websites and breast cancer discussion forums on the Internet in order to understand how people talked about their disease. It was found that patients used 3,000 different words to talk about the cancer. "We really hope that doctors make use of this research and begin to use common words and phrases used by patients. By talking in a language patients understand doctors can make the breast cancer experience slightly easier," said R. Messai who presented the findings. The French team hopes to bring out the first French dictionary next year and then work with the UMLS (Unified Medical Language System) in the Unites States to bring out an English dictionary using patient friendly terminology for breast cancer.
Contact: EBCC-5 Press Office
Federation of European Cancer Societies