Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physical symptoms prevalent no matter what stage of cancer including remission

12.10.2010
Twenty-two physical symptoms associated with cancer – symptoms often unrecognized and undertreated – are prevalent in all types of cancers regardless of whether the patient is newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment or is a cancer survivor, according to researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University schools of medicine and nursing.

Common symptoms include fatigue, pain, weakness, appetite loss, dry mouth, constipation, insomnia and nausea. These physical symptoms are associated with substantial functional impairment, disability and diminished quality of life.

The study of 405 patients was reported in the Oct. 11, 2010, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Numerous physical symptoms, rather than just a few, were prevalent in patients with cancer and this prevalence did not diminish after completion of therapy.

"We found that regardless of where they are in the course of their diseases, many individuals with cancer have a high symptom burden," said Kurt Kroenke, M.D., the study's principal investigator and first author. Dr. Kroenke is a Regenstrief Institute investigator and a Chancellor's Professor of Medicine in the IU School of Medicine.

"These symptoms impact them at home and at work throughout their lives," he said.

Study participants, all of whom had pain, depression or both, experienced substantial disability, reporting on average 17 of the past 28 days as either bed days or days in which they had to cut down on activities by at least 50%. Almost all patients reported feeling tired (97.5%) and most (78.8%) were bothered "a lot" by this symptom. Of the 22 symptoms studied, 15 were reported by more than half of the study participants.

In spite of high symptom prevalence, the researchers did not uncover greater use of the health care system. There may be several explanations for this including patients' inclinations to focus on cancer treatment while with their physicians or to accept the symptoms as an inevitable result of the disease or its treatment. Alternatively, the explanation may lie with the fact that those in the study, as cancer patients or former patients, were already frequently interacting with many parts of the health care system.

"Patients and their families should be encouraged to bring up symptoms like pain or insomnia with physicians. But because oncologists are necessarily focused on treatment of the cancer itself, they often have insufficient time to optimally evaluate and manage symptoms and other factors impacting quality of life. We have shown in an earlier study that one effective solution might be a partnership between a telephone-based symptom management team and community-based oncology practices,," said Dr. Kroenke, who is a research scientist with the Center for Implementing Evidence-Based Practice at the Richard Roudebush VA Medical Center and an Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center member.

The previous study, published earlier in 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reported that an economical, centralized approach is feasible to conduct and significantly improved symptoms of pain and depression in patients in any phase of cancer. That approach gave patients, many of whom lived in underserved rural areas, one-stop assistance they probably wouldn't have had access to unless they went to a major cancer center, Kroenke said.

Recognizing and managing physical symptoms such as fatigue, pain, nausea, and insomnia may make a significant difference regardless of type or phase of cancer. The researchers plan to investigate medical and behavioral strategies and combinations of both approaches to control these symptoms.

In addition to Dr. Kroenke, co-authors of "Somatic Symptoms in Patients with Cancer Experiencing Pain or Depression" are "Xin Zhong, R.N. and Janet Carpenter, Ph.D., R.N., of the IU School of Nursing; Dale Theobald, M.D., Ph.D. of Community Home Health Hospice and Symptom Management Group; Jingwei Wu, M.S., of the IU School of Medicine; and Wanzhu Tu, Ph.D., of the Regenstrief Institute and the IU School of Medicine.

The study was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute.

The Regenstrief Institute, IU schools of medicine and nursing and the IU Simon Cancer Center are located on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Cindy Fox Aisen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iupui.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>