TUESDAY, Feb. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) report confusion and concern about diagnosis and treatment, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Cancer.

Shoshana M. Rosenberg, Sc.D., M.P.H., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues administered a web-based survey in July 2014 to assess patients’ perspectives about DCIS diagnosis and treatment. The analytic sample included 1,832 women (median age at diagnosis, 60 years).

The researchers identified four primary themes: uncertainty surrounding a DCIS diagnosis; uncertainty relating to treatment; concern about side effects of treatment; and concerns relating to recurrence or developing invasive breast cancer. Participants were often uncertain about whether or not they had cancer when diagnosed and about whether they should be considered a survivor. Uncertainty in relation to treatment was demonstrated as questioning the appropriateness of treatment. Concern was expressed about the “cancer spreading” or becoming invasive and that not enough was being done to prevent recurrence.

“Improved awareness of the confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty that women with DCIS may experience can inform more empathetic communication patterns,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial. “Providers should seek every opportunity to understand each patient’s unique experience and provide education and other forms of support to promote their overall well-being.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health information technology industries.

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