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A recent survey finds nearly one-fourth of African-American breast cancer survivors were not satisfied with the information they received about treatment options from their doctors.
Researchers sought to assess patients’ clinical experiences, concerns and needs, asking participants questions about their treatment, access to information, support services and clinical trials, insurance and employment status, general health, and lingering effects of cancer treatment.
“Anyone who takes care of people with cancer should be aware of these concerns,” says lead author Marlene M. von Friederichs-Fitzwater, director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Outreach Research and Education Program.
“We know that one powerful factor in cancer outcomes is the extent to which patients obtain information and participate in their treatment decision-making.”
While many studies have documented African-American disparities in breast cancer screening, detection, mortality and disease staging, few have looked at the experiences from a patient’s post-treatment and survivorship perspective.
For the study, von Friederichs-Fitzwater telephoned African-American women throughout the Sacramento region known to have been treated for breast cancer. The women were identified through support groups and advocacy organizations, survivorship events and other agencies.