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    Research Grants Awarded

    Improving post-treatment care of Latina breast cancer survivors

    Study Section:
    Breast Cancer Disparities

    Scientific Abstract:
    More than 2 million women living in the United States today are breast cancer survivors. Limited data exist on the experiences of women during the critical transitional period between the end of primary treatment and survivorship. Minorities are typically underrepresented in most studies that examined the quality of life and psychosocial functioning of cancer survivors, and this is especially true of non-English speaking minority populations. The overall goal of this proposal is to improve the post-treatment care of breast cancer survivors and to understand the barriers to optimal post-treatment care in Latina women. The proposed investigation is a randomized prospective evaluation of a Survivorship Intervention in improving the quality of care, treatment satisfaction and understanding of care in Latina and Caucasian breast cancer survivors treated in an urban academic medical center. We will recruit 120 patients (60 Hispanic and 60 non-Hispanic) within 4 weeks of completing their last definitive breast cancer therapy (radiation therapy or chemotherapy). Subjects will complete self administered baseline and follow-up questionnaires 3 months after intervention. Following baseline evaluation, patients will review written information for follow-up care of cancer survivors - Facing Forward: Life after Cancer Treatment and undergo a comprehensive consultation in a survivorship clinic where an individualized report including a treatment summary, surveillance recommendations, risk for late-effects, cancer screening recommendations, genetic risk, and life style recommendations will be generated and provided to the patient and physician. Patients will be re-assessed 3 months after the intervention. Cancer therapy related symptoms, understanding of the recommended treatment plan, treatment satisfaction, and the psychosocial impact of being a cancer survivor will be evaluated, and assessed in relation to ethnicity (Hispanic vs non-Hispanic), primary language, literacy and socioeconomic status. We hypothesize that patients will differ in rates of cancer therapy related symptoms, understanding of the recommended treatment plan, treatment satisfaction, and the psychosocial impact of being a cancer survivor in relation to ethnicity (Hispanic vs non-Hispanic), primary language, literacy and socioeconomic status. We also hypothesize that the intervention will improve patents understanding of the recommended treatment plan, treatment satisfaction and long term risk. We believe in the long-term this Survivorship Intervention will have a positive impact on follow-up and surveillance guidelines, adherence to standard cancer screening, and understanding of lifestyle modification recommendations (low fat diet/exercise).

    Lay Abstract:
    There are increasing numbers of breast cancer survivors in the U.S., and increasing research efforts are focused on improving their quality of life. Very little is known about the psychological effects and quality of life of Hispanic women who are breast cancer survivors. Our medical center serves a large Hispanic population in Washington Heights in New York City, composed primarily of women from the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean basin. We plan to randomize 120 women with breast cancer, 60 Hispanic and 60 non-Hispanic, within six weeks of completing their primary breast cancer therapy (either adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy). We will have them complete baseline questionnaires regarding their symptoms, prior treatment, recommended future treatment and follow-up plan, risk of late effects, cancer screening recommendations, genetic risk, and life-style recommendations. These women will then be randomized to usual care or undergo an evaluation and consultation in a breast cancer survivorship clinic where they will be counseled regarding the above, and will be provided with a treatment summary, surveillance recommendations, their risk for late effects and toxicities, cancer screening recommendations, and life-style recommendations, and will be given a new publication, ?Facing Forward: Life after Cancer Treatment?. These survivors will then fill out another set of questionnaires at 3 months after the randomization to assess the efficacy of the intervention in affecting their knowledge and attitudes. We suspect that patients will differ in rates of cancer therapy related symptoms, understanding of the recommended treatment plan, treatment satisfaction, and the psychosocial impact of being a cancer survivor. We will assess if there are differences in relation to ethnicity (Hispanic vs non-Hispanic), primary language, literacy and socioeconomic status. We also suspect that the intervention will improve patents understanding of the recommended treatment plan, treatment satisfaction and long term risk. We believe in the long-term this Survivorship Intervention will have a positive impact on follow-up and surveillance guidelines, adherence to standard cancer screening, and understanding of lifestyle modification recommendations (low fat diet and exercise).