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Most Cancer Patients Believe Surgery Will Be Curative

Findings even among patients with stage IV lung, colorectal cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients undergoing surgery for lung or colorectal cancer believe that the surgery is likely to be curative, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Cancer.

Yuhree Kim, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues characterized the prevalence of the expectation that surgical resection of lung or colorectal cancer might be curative among 3,954 patients who underwent cancer-directed surgery for lung (30.3 percent) or colorectal (69.7 percent) cancer. Patients were identified from a population-based and health system-based survey of participants from multiple U.S. regions.

The researchers found that 80.0 percent of patients with lung cancer and 89.7 percent of those with colorectal cancer responded that surgery would cure their cancer. Even among patients with stage IV lung and colorectal cancer, 57.4 and 79.8 percent, respectively, believed surgery was likely to be curative. The odds ratio (OR) of the perception of curative intent was higher among patients with colorectal versus lung cancer (OR, 2.27). Higher odds of perceiving surgery would be curative were also seen among patients who reported optimal physician communication scores (score of 80 to 100 versus reference score of 0 to 80; OR, 1.40) and those reporting a shared role in decision-making with their physician (OR, 1.16) or family (OR, 1.17). Patients who were less likely to believe that surgery would cure their cancer were unmarried female with an advanced tumor stage and a higher number of comorbidities.

"Greater focus on patient-physician engagement, communication, and barriers to discussing goals of care with patients who are diagnosed with cancer is needed," the authors write.

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