Impact of Treatments on the Family of Breast, Prostate, Colon and Lung Cancer Patients

Philippe Groux, Sandro Anchisi, Thomas Szucs


Objective: Many patients describe travel to cancer treatment as inconvenient and a practical hardship and it may be perceived or experienced as a barrier to treatment. We investigated which impact cancer treatments has on the family of the patients, especially for the most frequent cancer type prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer.

The aim was to identify groups of patients with an increased burden for the family.

Method: All patients coming in February 2012 for chemotherapy to one of the four centres of the hospital or to the unique private practice were asked to answer a survey. The questionnaire covered items as gender, date of birth, living place, kind of cancer, kind of treatment and questions covering different aspects of the travel: how the patient travelled to the centre, how long the travel lasted, which kind of support was necessary to travel and who provided this support, whether the accompanying person had to absent herself from her workplace, whether the patient lives alone or not and how many journeys to health care providers the patients had in the last month were included in the analysis

Results: 298 patients answered to all required questions (73%). 186 came accompanied, a vast majority by a member of the family and one out of four of the accompanying person had to leave the workplace. Help at home is almost exclusively provided by family members. Patients have several journeys to health care providers per month.

Conclusions: The type of cancer has an impact on the support needed and must added to the previously published factors as age, gender and distance. The journey to the cancer treatment is not the unique journey to health care providers the patients have and increase the burden for the patient and the family.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Philippe MJ Groux, Sandro Anchisi, Thomas D. Szucs

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Cancer and Clinical Oncology   ISSN 1927-4858(Print)   ISSN 1927-4866(Online)   Email:

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