Women suffering from breast cancer are not always aware of what kind of tumor they have and what is their status of evolution, new research stated.
New study on breast cancer patients, showed that it is mandatory for women with breast cancer, to be informed on all the issues regarding their disease. Knowing the status of their tumor women can better understand treatment and medication. Having the right knowledge about their health conditions and the risks of their disease can be a huge step in improving their health, explained doctor Rachel Freedman from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute from Boston.
The patients who know what kind of cancer they are dealing with, can better understand their treatment and tend to be more satisfied with the medication.
In the new study, doctor Freedman and her team, interrogated 500 women from north California whom had been diagnosed the year between 2010 and 2011, general information about their breast cancer. They were asked about the grade of the tumor, meaning the aggressiveness of the disease, and if they were aware if the tumor was feeding off the estrogen hormone or off another protein, named HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.
The results showed that 55% of the sick women, knew if their tumor was feeding off estrogen and around 30% stated they were aware of their HER2 status. Regarding the cancer’s aggressiveness, only 30 % knew about its level and 82% knew how advanced their cancer was.
Comparing their answers to their medical records, only 56% of the women stated the correct estrogen situation, 58% stated the right HER2 and 57% stated the correct stage of their cancer. One woman out of five named the correct grade of aggressiveness.
Final results proved that only 8% of the women, responded correctly to all the questions and the most uninformed were the women belonging to different races and ethnicities.
The result of the study came as a surprise for medicals, as they knew that breast cancer patients are usually very informed and read a lot on their disease, explained doctor Michelle Shayne from James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, from New York
She added that oncologists have to fit their discussions about cancer with details, on every patient and explain each one according to their cancer status. It extremely important for patients to fully understand every piece of information concerning their tumor.
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