Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer patients become bold advocates once survivors

Date:
February 2, 2010
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Sociologists have found that when passive cancer patients become survivors, they have plenty of bold advice to offer other cancer patients, according to a new study.

Sociologists at Case Western Reserve University found that when passive cancer patients become survivors, they have plenty of bold advice to offer other cancer patients, according to a study in JAGS, the Journal of American Geriatric Society.

Eva Kahana, Robson Professor of Sociology and director of the Elderly Care Research Center at Case Western Reserve, reported the findings from interviews with 100 cancer survivors. These survivors are part of a longitudinal study of 1,107 elderly adults living in a retirement community.

This study calls attention to generally accepting, timid behaviors that elderly patients report about their interactions with the healthcare system while battling cancer. Nevertheless the very same older adults offer advice to other older cancer patients to take a more activist stand and become advocates in their care.

This finding of the study overturns the notion that elderly patients are disinterested and disempowered health consumers, Kahana said.

For nearly 20 years, the longitudinal study's research team gathered information from this Florida retirement community to find out what older people do to age successfully and weather chronic illnesses and the frailties in their later years.

In the study's 17th year, cancer survivors were given an in-depth interview with open- and close-ended questions about their cancer experience. The participants were of an average age of 79, married (62%) and were mostly women (62%). The predominant cancers were breast and prostate.

What surprised the researchers was that survivors became advocates for others, but had not been for themselves. The survivors suggested their peers with cancer get seconds opinions, check the doctor's credentials, keep a positive attitude, join support groups and learn more about treatment options before taking the doctor's advice at face value, Kahana said.

Very few, however, had actually practiced it in the throes of cancer and coped by relying on physicians and family members, according to Kahana.

The study's participants reported in their interviews that during their cancer experience they weren't worried, continued regular routines, had faith in their healthcare providers and followed instructions.

The researchers said the findings suggest "a transition maybe occurring from passive to a more-active or even activist orientation due to the illness experience."

Kahana said that even though the cancer patients didn't practice their own advice, it might "be percolating in their minds."

She thinks that offering the advice and reflecting on the cancer experience can be helpful when these individuals face new chronic illnesses.

The paper's co-authors are Jessica Kelley-Moore, Scott A. Adams, Rachel Hammel, Diana Kulle, Jane A. Brown and Cathie King from the CWRU department of sociology and Boaz Kahana from the department of psychology at Cleveland State University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kahana et al. Toward Advocacy in Cancer Care for Older Adults: Survivors Have Cautious Personal Actions but Bold Advice for Others. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2009; 57s269 DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02509.x

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Cancer patients become bold advocates once survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202111057.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2010, February 2). Cancer patients become bold advocates once survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202111057.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Cancer patients become bold advocates once survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202111057.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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