Most breast cancer patients know little about their condition
Many women with breast cancer in the U.S. understand relatively little about their specific condition, according to a new study.
Scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School gave a survey to 500 women with breast cancer, which included questions about three tumor characteristics of their breast cancer: the grade, stage and cancer subtype.
The researchers found that about 32 to 82 percent of the women surveyed said they recognized each of the tumor characteristics they were asked about; however, only 20 to 58 percent of the women were able to identify the characteristics correctly.
The researchers also found that minority women were less knowledgeable about their breast cancer, when compared to white women, which they said could be due to differences in health literacy and socioeconomic status.
The study's findings, published in the journal Cancer, suggests a gap exists in patient education. The researchers noted that education is critical in helping patients make better treatment decisions, as well as reducing risk of developing new conditions and taking care of their overall health.