Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian women, with 1 in 11 receiving a diagnosis before the age of 75 years. As survival rates continue to improve, an increasing proportion of women are living with the disease and for longer periods of time. For many women, the diagnosis, treatment and subsequent follow-up and recovery carry with them significant psychological, physical, and social sequelae, which may not be adequately addressed within existing health care services, and hence increase the burden of illness associated with having breast cancer. Assessment of concerns and issues amongst cancer survivors has historically been conducted using measurements of quality of life, satisfaction, and unmet needs. However, assessment of unmet needs has the advantage of providing direction on the specific issues patients wish to receive help with, This enables remedial actions to be developed and targeted appropriately. This paper reports on the prevalence of unmet needs in a sample of long-term breast cancer survivors, and on the associations between demographic and treatment variables and levels of need reported.
Clinical Updates in Breast Cancer Vol. 3, Issue 2, p. 15-17