Types of Cancers Diagnosed and the Preference of Families of Adult Patients with Cancer about Disclosing Diagnosis to the Patients

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Engida Abebe
Hana Abebe


BACKGROUND: Cancer has become one of the top causes ofdeath in developing nations killing more people than the commoninfectious diseases do. For several reasons, disclosing cancerdiagnosis to the patient is a challenging job for physicians andfamily members.MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was doneto determine the common cancer diagnosis and the preferenceabout disclosing cancer diagnosis to the patients among attendantsof adult cancer patients seen at the regular surgical OPD of St.Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical college (SPHMMC) in June1-31st 2015. Medical records of the patients and face-to-faceinterview with attendants were used to generate the data andanalysis was done with SPSS version 19.0.RESULTS: A total 112(7.3%) patients were diagnosed to havecancer and 104 attendants (93%) were interviewed. The mean ageof the patients was 48.2 years, Females made up 59% of thepatients. The commonest cancer diagnosed was breast cancer.Male (62.7%) and children (36.1%) were the main attendants. Only56.6% of the attendants agreed that patients should be the first toknow diagnosis results. When possible, 84.3% preferred to hidediagnosis. Although 81.3% attendants did not like diagnosisdisclosure to the patient, all of them wanted to know the diagnosisif they develop cancer. Nearly all, 98.8%, of the attendantspreferred to hear the diagnosis from their doctors.CONCLUSIONS: Cancer is a relatively common diagnosisoccurring at a younger age. The rate of cancer diagnosisdisclosure acceptance and practice by attendants was low .Population-based and multicentre study with a larger sample size isrecommended to define the condition better.

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Author Biographies

Engida Abebe, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Department of surgery , SPHMMC

Hana Abebe, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Department of surgery , SPHMMC