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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 233-238

Evaluation of changes in the attitudes and behaviors of relatives of lung cancer patients toward cancer prevention and screening


Department of Internal Diseases, Dokuz Eylül University, Medical Faculty, Division of Medical Oncology, Inciralti, 35340, Izmir, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
D Koca
Department of Internal Diseases, Dokuz Eylül University, Medical Faculty, Division of Medical Oncology, Inciralti, 35340, Izmir
Turkey
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.118740

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Background: Cancer diagnosis affects all the relatives living with the patient; however, whether the behavior of family members changes or not is unknown. To end this we evaluated the relatives of lung cancer patients. Materials and Methods: Forty-one questions were used to collect data from the relatives of lung cancer patients who had been living with them for at least one year, to evaluate changes in their attitudes and behaviors related to cancer prevention. Results: The study included 246 lung cancer patients' relatives, of them 172 (69.9%) were women and 74 (30.1%) were men. The median age was 46 years (range: 20-83 years). Patients and their relatives had been living together for an average of 28 years (range: 1-68 years), and 88 (35.7%) of the patients' relatives were their children. We found changes in the attitudes and behaviors toward prevention and screening for cancer in 92 (37.4%) of the relatives. Fifty-two (21.1%) of them changed their smoking habits, 34 (13.8%) altered their eating habits, 25 (10.2%) changed their exercise habits, 13 (5.3%) visited a doctor due to a suspicion of having cancer, 12 (4.9%) changed their lifestyles, seven (2.8%) underwent cancer screening tests, three (1.2%) started using alternative medicines, and three (1.2%) started using vitamins for cancer prevention. Conclusions: Important changes occur in the attitudes and behaviors of patients' relatives toward cancer prevention and screening after the patients are diagnosed with lung cancer. Being aware of how patients' relatives react to a family member's cancer diagnosis may provide healthcare professionals with more incentive to address the relatives' special needs.






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