Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Caregivers of brain cancer patients play a key role

Date:
May 20, 2010
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Despite grim prognoses and aggressive treatments, cancer patients suffering from malignant gliomas -- primary brain tumors -- often rate their quality of life more optimistically than their caregivers do, according to a new study.

Despite grim prognoses and aggressive treatments, cancer patients suffering from malignant gliomas -- primary brain tumors -- often rate their quality of life more optimistically than their caregivers do, according to a new Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine study.

The research suggests how important it is for caregivers to speak up if there is something more to be said, said Daniel Jacobs, a clinical researcher at Feinberg and lead author of the paper. "A caregiver may help to give a more complete clinical picture," he said.

Jeffrey Raizer, M.D., senior author of the paper, has seen many brain cancer patients for years. He says patients often rise to the occasion when they see their doctor and may minimize their symptoms. "You may ask a patient if he is tired and he says, 'No,'" Raizer said. "Then the caregiver will say, 'But you are sleeping 20 hours a day.' So, there is a disconnect. The patient tells you one thing and the caregiver says another." It was this observation that led to the design of the trial.

Raizer is co-director of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute, associate professor of neurology at Feinberg and director of medical neuro-oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The study will be presented June 6 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting.

Similar quality of life studies have been done on patients with other types of cancer, but it is important to understand specifically how patients with malignant gliomas and their caregivers respond, Raizer said.

"Brain tumors may affect people a lot more than say lung cancer and breast cancer in terms of their personality, language function and their functional ability to do things," Raizer said. "Brain tumors change people in many ways."

For the study, 19 patients recently diagnosed or re-diagnosed with grade 3 or 4 malignant gliomas filled out a questionnaire about their quality of life, rating physical, emotional, functional and social well-being. The same questionnaire was filled out by caregivers -- family members, significant others or close friends. The questionnaires were given out every two months when the patients were accompanied by their caregivers in the clinic for an MRI.

"It is not just about treating a patient with chemotherapy, but also understanding the psychosocial aspects patient are dealing with," Raizer said. "Better understanding allows positive interventions to occur."

The study is titled "Quality of life concordance between patients with malignant gliomas and their caregivers." It was funded by the American Brain Tumor Association.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Caregivers of brain cancer patients play a key role." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100520213112.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2010, May 20). Caregivers of brain cancer patients play a key role. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100520213112.htm
Northwestern University. "Caregivers of brain cancer patients play a key role." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100520213112.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. 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