Katarina Sjövall has studied partners of individuals with colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer or prostate cancer. The study shows that the number of diagnosed diseases among partners increased by 25 per cent after the cancer diagnosis.
“Having a close relative with cancer entails worry and anxiety and an increased workload that places a strain on one’s health”, she says.
The most significant increase was in diagnoses of mental illnesses such as depression. However, there was also a significant increase in cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal diseases and abdominal diseases. The highest increase was in cardiovascular disease among spouses and partners of those with lung cancer, which increased by almost 50 per cent.
The increase in diagnosed diseases led to increased use of the health service, primarily in-patient care. Among the partners who worked, the number of days of sick leave also increased. The worst affected were spouses and partners of lung cancer patients, who had over 70 per cent more days off sick than the general population in the year following their partner’s diagnosis.
While women in general are responsible for a larger proportion of healthcare costs than men in Sweden, the reverse was true in this case. Healthcare costs increased most for men under 64 who had a partner with cancer.
“One possible explanation could be that the men feel less comfortable taking on a caring role as the partner of a cancer patient and that they therefore suffer more stress”, says Katarina Sjövall.
In one of her studies, Ms Sjövall interviewed patients with colorectal cancer and their partners. The patients sometimes spoke of feeling that their physical and psychological experiences were not acknowledged by the health service. Neither did their partners always feel as involved as they would like to be.
“Our interviews showed that the cancer patients sometimes chose not to tell those closest to them what they were going through out of consideration for them. However, this considerate attitude could have the opposite effect”, says Katarina Sjövall.
When it comes to the health service, Ms Sjövall finds that care at the end of life is good at also helping the relatives and making them feel involved in what is happening. At earlier stages, however, there may be wide variations in approach and opportunities to offer support to relatives.
Another part of the study looks at the cancer patients’ sick leave in the year prior to the cancer diagnosis. Individuals with colon cancer and lung cancer had twice as many days off sick as the control group even in the year before their diagnosis.
“One reason could be that both forms of cancer have a lot to do with lifestyle. Therefore, individuals with colon cancer often also have diabetes, and individuals with lung cancer often have cardiovascular disease. The sick leave may have been due to these other diseases – but it could also have been due to early symptoms of the cancer. This makes one wish there were better ways to make a diagnosis based on very early cancer symptoms”, says Katarina Sjövall.
The title of the thesis is Living with cancer. Impact on cancer patient and partner and will be defended on 4 March.
Katarina Sjövall can be contacted on +46 46 17 75 12 or +46 768 67 49 79, email@example.com.
A downloadable image is available at http://www.lu.se/images/Nyhetsbilder/Katarina.Sjovall.JPG
Ingela Björck | idw
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
26.09.2017 | Life Sciences
26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Information Technology