Almost thirty per cent of cancer patients and survivors thought all patients experience all possible side effects of chemotherapy
OTTAWA, Oct. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - According to research released today from the Canadian Breast Cancer Network and Lymphoma Foundation Canada, less than half of patients surveyed were concerned with infection while undergoing treatment, despite the risks that infection can pose to someone undergoing chemotherapy. Not surprisingly, the effectiveness of treatment is the number one concern for two-thirds of cancer patients and caregivers.
"We knew that the side effects of chemotherapy were an area of concern for people battling cancer and their caregivers, so we undertook this research to quantify that knowledge and highlight knowledge gaps so that we can provide education," says Cathy Ammendolea, President, Canadian Breast Cancer Network.
Not surprisingly, when first diagnosed with cancer, the majority of patients (54.7 per cent) and half of caregivers (57 per cent) surveyed said that they felt fear. The research also shows that men were more likely than women to feel acceptance of their diagnosis (33.3 per cent versus 21.9 per cent respectively).
"A cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of information all at once, so it's not uncommon for patients and caregivers to forget some information, such as some of the lesser known side effects of treatment including febrile neutropenia and infection," explains Dr. Sandy Sehdev, Medical Oncologist, William Osler Healthcare System, Brampton Site. "These are some of the most serious side effects that a patient may experience while undergoing treatment and may lead to chemotherapy reductions or delays which can impact the results of your treatment."
If left untreated, febrile neutropenia can lead to serious infections, which may be life threatening. As a result of the side effects of treatment, 18 per cent of respondents had to stop or delay treatment. Febrile neutropenia, a low white blood cell count accompanied by fever and other signs of infection, can lead to delays in treatment; however, it can be prevented or treated, in order to avoid having to stop or delay chemotherapy.
"Learning about chemotherapy, what side effects can be expected and how to manage them is information that is essential for patients and caregivers," says Sue Robson, Executive Director,
Lymphoma Foundation Canada. "Part of our role is to ensure that men and women undergoing chemotherapy treatment have a full understanding of not only the benefits of treatment, but also possible side effects and how best to manage them."
For more information about the possible side effects of chemotherapy visit the following websites:
The Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) is a survivor-directed, national network of organizations and individuals. CBCN is a national link between all groups and individuals concerned about breast cancer, and represents the concerns of all Canadians affected by breast cancer and those at risk.
About Lymphoma Foundation Canada
Lymphoma Foundation Canada is a charitable not-for-profit organization that provides information on new treatments and research, as well as support patient education workshops and seminars to help people understand and manage their cancer. We support lymphoma-specific research through the creation of fellowships, as well as provide community-based resources to help people learn about and cope with their cancer.
About the survey
From May 18th to May 30th, 2012, an online survey was conducted among 510 randomly selected Canadian adults who have at one time been diagnosed with cancer or who have been actively involved in making decisions about care or caring for someone with cancer. These individuals are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
Editors Note: Physicians and patient groups are available for interviews.
Video with caption: "Video: Side effect management during chemotherapy ". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20121031_C3419_VIDEO_EN_19870.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20121031_C3419_PHOTO_EN_19870.jpg&clientName=Canadian%20Breast%20Cancer%20Network%20and%20Lymphoma%20Foundation%20Canada&caption=Video%3A%20Side%20effect%20management%20during%20chemotherapy%20&title=CANADIAN%20BREAST%20CANCER%20NETWORK%20%2D%20Side%20effect%20management%20during%20chemotherapy%20&headline=Less%20than%20half%20of%20Canadians%20surveyed%20are%20aware%20of%20one%20of%20the%20most%20serious%20side%20effects%20of%20chemotherapy
Audio with caption: "Audio: Side effect management during chemotherapy ". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/10/31/20121031_C3419_AUDIO_EN_19871.mp3
Audio with caption: "Audio: Side effect management during chemotherapy ". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/10/31/20121031_C3419_AUDIO_EN_19872.mp3
SOURCE: Canadian Breast Cancer Network and Lymphoma Foundation Canada
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