eISSN: 1644-4116
ISSN: 1429-8538
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vol. 22
Original paper

Knowledge of the diagnosis, treatment history, possible late effects and prophylaxis among childhood cancer survivors

Aleksandra Zaremba
Monika Prusik
Maryna Krawczuk-Rybak

Klinika Pediatrii, Onkologii i Hematologii Dziecięcej, Uniwersytecki Dziecięcy Szpital Kliniczny w Białymstoku
Wydział Psychologii, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Psychoonkologia 2018, 22 (4): 123–129
Online publish date: 2019/12/30
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After cancer treatment patients may present late effects which can appear many years after and can influence their future life. At the time of diagnosis and during the treatment, the parents and children are informed about the disease, therapy, possible side-effects of treatment and the prophylaxis.

Aim of the study
In our study we analyzed the survivors’ knowledge of cancer history (diagnosis, treatment, possibilities of late effects) and future risks.

Material and methods
Fifty four survivors completed a questionnaire consisted of 30 items (open and closed question) focused on knowledge of cancer diagnosis, treatment, possible late effects, prophylaxis and the sources of survivors’ knowledge.

Results and conclusions
Of 54 survivors only 74.1% were able to give a precise name of a disease. Although 96.30% subjectively claimed they knew their disease. Sixty three percent of survivors were convinced they knew what treatment they got, but only 22.20% gave the right answers. Finally, 77.80% survivors were not able to list possible late effects and how to avoid them (74.10%) although 66.70% subjectively reported they knew the possible late effects and 55.5% declared they knew the prophylaxis. 66.7% of survivors indicated parents to be the source of their knowledge about the disease, only 26.9% indicated the doctors.

We hope that the presented data will encourage the discussion on importance of childhood cancer patients’ education and to develop programs helping medical stuff to master communication skills.

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