AWARENESS REGARDING DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF CANCER AND ACCESS TO THE TREATMENTS OF CANCER OF THE PATIENTS ATTENDING AT A PIONEER REGIONAL CANCER CENTRE OF EASTERN INDIA
Running Title: Awareness and access to the treatments of the cancer of the cancer patients attending at a regional cancer centre of eastern India
Keywords:cancer awareness – education interventional programme – access to treatments – late reporting
Cancer patients are prone to be non-compliant to treatment and follow-up. Many studies have been conducted so far regarding knowledge of cancers among the community people. However, not many studies have looked into knowledge of treatments, toxicities due to treatments and importance of follow-up in India. As a result of that no educational intervention programme could be initiated to improve treatment and follow-up compliance among the cancer patients.
Thus the present study aimed at assessing awareness of different aspects of cancer treatments and assessing the accesses to the treatments among the patients attended at regional cancer centre of eastern India.
Methods: The study was conducted on 858 patients selected randomly from 9406 patients attended at Out Patient Door (OPD) of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) during the period 1st January 2019 – 31st December 2019.
Result: The study aimed at assessing the level of awareness regarding cancer and the access to the treatments of the patients. The mean (mean±s.d.) age of the patients was 50.56±14.94 years with range 2 – 89 years and the median age was 52 years. The sex ratio of the patients was (Male : Female) was 1.0 : 1.3. 71.4% of the patients were with monthly family income ? INR 2000. (p<0.0001) as a result of that monthly per capita income 56.5% of the patients was ? INR 500. (p<0.0001). 56.2% of the respondents opined that cancer is curable but 40.7% of them had no idea (p=0.034). The mean (mean±s.d.) duration of symptoms of the patients was 8.64±10.23 months with range 0.20 – 96 months and the median was 6 months. The mean (mean±s.d.) time to first consult with any doctor after onset of symptoms of the patients was 11.92±11.22 months with range 0.20 – 96 months and the median was 9 months. The mean (mean±s.d.) distance of residence from CNCI of the patients was 175.14±169.06 km with range 1 – 800 km and the median was 120 km. 70.2% of them had no place to stay with free of cost around CNCI (p<0.0001). 70.3% of them had no idea about time to completion of treatments of cancer. 91.7% of them had no idea about type of treatment generally required to treat cancer (p<0.0001). 97.8% and 96.7% of them had no knowledge about radiotherapy and chemotherapy respectively (p<0.0001). 49.4% of the patients had no idea about requirement of follow-up / check-up after the completion of treatments but 46.5% believed that follow-up / check-up is required after the completion of treatments (p=0.77).
Conclusions: From the results of the study it revealed that majority of the cancer patients attending cancer hospitals had no idea about the type of treatments required and its inevitable side effects in most of the cases during treatments which may enforce the patients to be non-compliance of treatments. Moreover, majority of them were reporting late after the onset of symptoms which leads to late presentation by the patients with advancement of disease. Counseling with the patients regarding different aspects of cancer treatments at the very first day of attendance in a cancer hospital will be effective to reduce the drop out during treatments and follow-up.
Keywords: cancer awareness – education interventional programme – access to treatments – late reporting
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