Institut Sainte-Catherine, chemin du Lavarin, 84086 Avignon, Institut Bergonié, Centre régional de lutte contre le cancer, 180 rue de Saint-Genès, 33076 Bordeaux, Centre hospitalier Princesse Grâce, Service de radiothérapie, 06000 Monaco, Centre hospitalier Lyon-Sud, Service radiothérapie, 69495 Pierre-Bénite, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Direction soins infirmiers, rue Camille-Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Division Oncologie, 3 rue Joseph-Monier, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison, Harris Medical International, 46 rue de l’Échiquier, 75010 Paris
The aim of the survey Parcours de Femmes 2001 was to evaluate at a national level, the overall management of patients with breast or gynecological cancers and to determine their needs. Eligible patients had either received at least 3 months of treatment or had completed treatment less than 1 year before the study. from February to November 2001, 2 839 questionnaires were distributed ; 1 870 were returned (66 % response rate) ; 87 % of patients had breast cancer and 76 % de novo cancer (primary management). Overall, 92 % of women received information/explanations with an acceptable quality. Information of patients clearly improved during last years but insufficiencies persist for two points : adverse events of treatments and disease progression, especially for recurrent patients. Fatigue (78 %), anxiety (66 %) and chemotherapy adverse events were the most frequent problems and were well managed by caregivers, except for fatigue due to diagnostic and treatment difficulties. Problems relating to daily life (48 % of patients reported difficulty in doing housework), material and social life were poorly identified and remained largely unmanaged. Information given to female cancer patients must be improved particularly in relapsed patients. Psychosocial management requires a more holistic approach through new channels together with the coordination of existing structures.