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Study highlights needed improvements in management of women with cancer

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A recent study highlights needed improvements in the management of women with cancer.

According to researchers in France, "The aim of the survey Parcours de Femmes 2001 was to evaluate, at a national level, the overall management of patients with breast or gynecological cancers and to determine their needs. Eligible patients had either received at least 3 months of treatment or had completed treatment less than 1 year before the study."

D. Serin and colleagues wrote, "From February to November 2001, 2,839 questionnaires were distributed; 1,870 were returned (66% response rate);87% of patients had breast cancer and 76% de novo cancer (primary management). Overall, 92% of women received information/explanations with an acceptable quality. Information of patients clearly improved during last years but insufficiencies persist for two points : adverse events of treatments and disease progression, especially for recurrent patients."

The authors reported, "Fatigue (78%), anxiety (66,176) and chemotherapy adverse events were the most frequent problems and were well managed by caregivers, except for fatigue due to diagnostic and treatment difficulties. Problems relating to daily life (48% of patients reported difficulty in doing housework), material and social life were poorly identified and remained largely unmanaged."

The scientists concluded, "Information given to female cancer patients must be improved particularly in relapsed patients. Psychosocial management requires a more holistic approach through new channels together with the coordination of existing structures."

Serin and colleagues published their study in Bulletin du Cancer (Parcours de femmes 2001, a French survey on the management and needs of women with breast and gynecological cancer: what's new after 8 years? Bull Cancer, 2005;92(9):817-827).

For more information, contact D. Serin, Institute Sainte Catherine, F-84086 Avignon, France; E-mail:

Publisher contact information for the journal Bulletin du Cancer is: John Libbey Eurotext Ltd., 127 Avenue de La Republique, 92120 Montrouge, France.

Keywords: Avignon, France, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Therapy, Gynecological Cancer, Health Surveys, Women's Health.

This article was prepared by Biotech Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2005, Biotech Week via

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