Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Significant Proportion Of Men Told Wife's Cancer Was Incurable Late Or Not At All

Date:
July 8, 2008
Source:
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Summary:
A study conducted in Sweden found that more than 40 percent of widowers in that country whose wives died from cancer four or five years earlier reported they were either never told that their spouse's cancer was incurable, or they heard this information during the last week of her life. The study also found most men wanted to know if spouse's illness was terminal.

A study conducted in Sweden found that more than 40 percent of widowers in that country whose wives died from cancer four or five years earlier reported they were either never told that their spouse's cancer was incurable, or they heard this information during the last week of her life. Eighty-six percent of widowers believed next-of-kin should be told immediately when a wife's cancer is incurable, including 71 percent of the men who did not recall being told this information.

"Our findings suggest that there is room for improvement in the level of communication between healthcare providers and the husbands of women with advanced cancer," said Hanna Dahlstrand, MD, PhD, an oncology resident and researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the study's lead author.

Using the Swedish Cancer Registry, the researchers identified and surveyed 691 men whose wives had died of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer in 2000 or 2001. The widowers were asked whether they were told about the extent of their wives' disease, and if so, when and by whom. They were also asked about their desire to learn such information. The study is part of a larger data collection by Arna Hauksdottir and colleagues, who are investigating men's preparedness for the death of a spouse.

Twenty percent of the men reported they were never told that the wife's cancer was incurable; 21 percent said they learned the same day or within the week before her death. Twenty four percent of men learned the information two weeks to two months before her death; 14 percent learned three to five months before; and 21 percent learned more than six months prior. Most (79 percent) of the men who were informed that their wife's cancer was incurable were told by the physician.

The study also found that 24 percent of men whose wives died of breast cancer reported they were not told their wives' illness was incurable, compared with 11 percent of widowers of women who died of ovarian cancer. The researchers speculated that because ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, husbands may have known about the severity of their wives' illness.

Dr. Dahlstrand noted that attitudes toward the communication of health information are similar in other western countries, including the United States. She advises cancer patients and their family members who desire clear information about the extent of a patient's disease and chance of a cure to inform their physicians of their wishes in a direct manner. She also suggests that physicians ask patients and family members how much information they want to receive.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Clinical Oncology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hanna Dahlstrand, et al. Disclosure of Incurable Illness to Spouses: Do They Want to Know? A Swedish Population-Based Follow-Up Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, July 10, 2008

Cite This Page:

American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Significant Proportion Of Men Told Wife's Cancer Was Incurable Late Or Not At All." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708182524.htm>.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. (2008, July 8). Significant Proportion Of Men Told Wife's Cancer Was Incurable Late Or Not At All. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708182524.htm
American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Significant Proportion Of Men Told Wife's Cancer Was Incurable Late Or Not At All." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708182524.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins