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Regular Follow-Up Visits of Cancer Patients in Long-Term Remission

Abstract:

Oncologists in foreign countries have been gradually abandoning routine check-ups of cancer patients in long-term remission because, even today, there is insufficient evidence of the effect of such check-ups on patients’ survival and quality of life. In order to shed light on their difficulties, 148 patients were surveyed who had been in remission for more than five years after a confirmed malignancy. The goal was to find out what their feelings were concerning the check-ups, and in particular if they would trust their oncologist that such check-ups were no longer necessary. One of our essential questions was: What would be the patient’s response? The study revealed that 40% of the patients would have felt relieved upon hearing that regular follow-up visits were no longer needed. However, 30% of them would have felt discriminated against and unprotected. Based on all of the above, we came to a conclusion that a decision to stop further check-ups should be made only with the patient’s approval.

Authors: Kristina Drusany, Andrea Pavlović, Matjaž Zwitter

Keywords: neoplasms, health surveys

Cite as: Med Razgl. 2003; 42: 329–37.


 
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