Women with metastatic breast cancer hide their disease
Global Situation in Metastatic Breast Cancer Explained. A global review by Pfizer Oncology and the European School of Oncology (ESO) revealed that women with metastatic breast cancer are stigmatized by society. The results of the study were presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC), based on three major surveys examining how breast cancer is perceived by the general public, patient organisations, Breast Cancer Centres, oncologists and nurses in 34 countries around the world. Expressing his opinion on the results of the study in which Turkey is also included, the President of the Turkish Medical Oncology Association Prof. Dr. Mahmut Gümüş He emphasized that although awareness of cancer increases with education, public awareness of advanced breast cancer is still insufficient.
Global Situation in Metastatic Breast Cancer (mMC)
At the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC) held in Amsterdam The results of a breast cancer analysis covering the years 2005 – 2015 were named “Decade Report”. presented. The analysis was based on three major surveys examining how breast cancer status is perceived by the general public, patient associations, Breast Cancer Centers, oncologists and nurses in 34 countries around the world.
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In the report, in addition to the misconceptions about metastatic breast cancer (mC), the degree of loneliness and helplessness felt by the patients was also revealed. prof. Dr. Mahmut Gümüşstated that with the socioeconomic level, the awareness of cancer also increases. “Education has a lot to contribute to that. However, when we look at the last 10 years, there is no difference as before, and now people reach health more easily. The level of awareness about treatments is higher. This creates a more positive effect by enabling patients to apply to the doctor more easily and reduce their fears.”
Half of the society does not consider protective measures
The report also highlights the extent of the social problems caused by breast cancer that cannot be fully cured. Between 22 and 42% of people across five European countries (22% in France, 24% in England, 27% in Germany, 33% in Poland, 42% in Turkey)2nd) believes that patients with metastatic breast cancer should only discuss the disease with their physician.one
This social stigma often stems from misunderstandings about the disease. prof. Dr. Mahmut Gümüş, said the following about breast cancer patients in Turkey hiding their disease: Women with breast cancer in Turkey can hide their disease for a while, and the biggest reason for this is the fear of disease. It’s not a social disguise. However, some patients may hide their illness due to fear and disapproval of cancer.
Access to screening methods that provide early diagnosis should be facilitated
Between 24 and 59% of respondents believe that metastatic breast cancer patients do not take preventive measures and are somehow responsible for their disease.2nd In most European countries surveyed, at least half of the respondents (France 45%, England 60%, Germany 59%, Poland 68%, Turkey 69%2nd) early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the progression of the disease.2nd and 48 to 76% (France 48%, UK 52%, Germany 55%, Poland 61%, Turkey 76%2nd) believes that breast cancer is completely curable.one
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prof. Dr. Mahmut Gümüş‘s views on this subject are as follows: “Breast cancer is a disease that can be overcome at an early stage with screening methods such as mammography and self-examination. This is indirectly the responsibility of the society. As both health professionals and people conscious of this issue, we must offer the necessary facilities, facilities and equipment to the service of the society in order to carry out these scans.”
The terms advanced breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer are unknown
The public’s knowledge of breast cancer is often based on survival histories of patients with early-stage breast cancer. These stories make breast cancer a disease that most people are familiar with.one On the other hand, the report shows that the term “advanced breast cancer” or “metastatic breast cancer” is less well known.one
prof. Dr. Mahmut Gümüş, stated that metastasis is known as a word, but the differences between advanced cancer and early stage cancer are not known much, and said: “We define advanced stage or metastatic breast cancer as the fact that the disease has gone from the organ where it is located to another organ. The level of awareness of our people on this issue is not very high yet. In general, there is only one type of disease in their perception, ‘breast cancer’”.
It is important for patients with metastatic breast cancer to lead a quality life.
Metastatic breast cancer patients continue to receive treatment for the rest of their lives, and quality of life is often cited by patients and physicians as the biggest motivation in the care process. In a survey of oncologists, nurses and breast cancer leaders (in nine countries including Germany, Italy, Portugal and Sweden), 79% of respondents rated quality of life and psychological support as more important than medical treatment needs for patients with metastatic breast cancer.2nd
prof. Dr. Mahmut Gümüş‘s views on this subject are as follows: “Although the life expectancy in advanced breast cancer is not as long as in the early stage, it is possible to provide a longer life expectancy than before, especially with the treatments developed in recent years. This makes it possible and necessary to make some recommendations to patients in terms of quality of life and to improve their quality of life.
First of all, it is necessary to inform them about the treatment processes and results so that their hope is not lost. Apart from that, the support of family and social environment will ensure that the disease progresses well and that they will be happier. Apart from this, our doctors need to talk to their patients about daily activities, nutrition, psychological support and sexuality and eliminate some fears or misinformation about these points. It is important that we try to talk about these issues with patients as much as possible, enlighten them and ensure that they reach the right information on such issues.”
Breast cancer-related deaths to increase by 43% by 2030
Global Status Report, highlights the need for more solidarity to meet the care and support needs of women living with metastatic breast cancer. Public health experts predict that the number of breast cancer-related deaths worldwide will increase by 43% by 2030.
prof. Dr. Mahmut Gümüş evaluated this prediction for Turkey as follows: “Especially for Turkey, such an estimate is realistic both for breast cancer and for general cancer types. Turkey has a young population and although it has a young population, it is going through an aging process. The incidence of cancer will increase as the average age increases. According to the figures in the report, slightly more striking results are expected in Turkey. Because there is already an elderly population in Europe. But Turkey has an aging population. Although cancer can be seen at young ages, it is more common in older ages. Due to the high population of young people in Turkey, the incidence of cancer is less. However, as time goes on, the incidence of cancer in older ages will increase, which is due to aging.”
About the Global Decade Report:
Developed by Pfizer in collaboration with the European School of Oncology (ESO). Global Situation in Metastatic Breast Cancer (mC): 2005 – 2015 Decade ReportIn , the status of mMC is evaluated in terms of patient care, wide breast cancer environment, and scientific developments and advances. The analysis is based on three major newly commissioned surveys that examine how the breast cancer situation is perceived by the general public, patient advocacy groups, Breast Cancer Centers, oncologists and nurses in 34 countries around the world.
Included in the analysis is the first survey that investigated global population perception on 14,315 adults (mBC patients and non-patients) in 14 countries. England, France, Germany, Poland and Turkey participated in the survey in Europe. In addition, secondary analyzes were performed and more than 3,000 previously published articles and abstracts with current breast cancer sources were reviewed to determine the global mBC landscape over the past decade. This report is the most comprehensive review of the global advanced and metastatic breast cancer landscape in the past decade and was prepared under the guidance of a global steering committee of interdisciplinary leaders in the mMC community. For more information on the report, including the methodology: www.BreastCancerVision.com.
About metastatic breast cancer (mC)
MBC occurs when cancer spreads from the breast to other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, liver, and brain.5 An estimated 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer of all stages are diagnosed each year worldwide.6 20-30% of women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in developed countries progress to mBC and this number may be much higher in less developed countries.7.8