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Survey underscores importance of emotional/educational needs among women with advanced breast cancer
Date:12/17/2007

SAN ANTONIO, Tex., December 16, 2007 Psychosocial support in women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is as important as the need for disease- and treatment-related information, according to results of a survey presented here today at the 30th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

The survey of 367 women with advanced breast cancer, which was conducted by Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, also underscores the growing importance of the Internet as an information resource for patients. The survey uncovered that patients with MBC feel that the Internet can be utilized more effectively by healthcare professionals and patient advocates.

Despite the growing recognition of unmet medical, educational, and psychosocial needs among women with advanced breast cancer, there has been little information regarding which of these needs are most important to this patient population, said Margaret C. Kirk, CEO, Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. This survey identifies psychosocial support as a high priority for women with metastatic breast cancer, one that should be pursued in tandem with the search for more effective and better-tolerated treatments.

Additionally, survey participants responses about treatment-related side effects, fears and anxieties, and the overall treatment experience suggest that healthcare professionals would benefit from more education.

Survey Highlights Negative Experiences with Disease and Treatment

The survey identified a host of challenges among women with MBC. A vast majority (94%) of respondents indicated that they had experienced weakness or fatigue while dealing with their disease; and nearly three-quarters (73%) said they had suffered from depression. Two-thirds (67%) noted they had experienced cognitive disorders associated with treatment (e.g., the so-called chemo-brain syndrome); and more than half (51%) complained of sexual dysfunction. When asked what
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Contact: Jennifer Gourdine
jgourdine@jfkhealth.com
908-256-2169
Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization
Source:Eurekalert

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