Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Acceptance of Cancer in Patients Diagnosed with Lung, Breast, Colorectal and Prostate Carcinoma

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Acceptance of Cancer in Patients Diagnosed with Lung, Breast, Colorectal and Prostate Carcinoma

Article excerpt


Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Poland (1). The highest incidence of carcinoma in men include lung, prostate and colorectal cancer, and in women - breast, colorectal and lung cancer. Medical statistics show, that more than 20.000 new cases of lung cancer, 17.000 new cases of breast cancer, 15.000 new cases of colorectal cancer and 9.200 new cases of prostate cancer are recorded every year in Poland (2).

Emergence of disease entails long-term consequences for patients, including not only stress related to cancer diagnosis, but also whole treatment process, decreased quality of life, and often coping with side effects. As a result, patient's social life and ability to work may be limited. Physical symptoms of disease are often associated with various mental disorders. However, depending on individual types of behaviors, as well as earlier experience, the attitude to the disease may vary significantly.

Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that an attitude adopted towards the disease may influence the quality of life, as well as decide about the outcome of therapy (3, 4).

Therefore, acceptance of illness, and related acceptance of pain, suffering and life discomfort, is serious issues for carcinoma patients. It is because cancer affects numerous aspects of patient's life, i.e. the physical, mental, social and spiritual area.

Acceptance of disease is simultaneously conducted at two levels: the emotional and cognitivebehavioral one. Patients learn to accept not only the symptoms but also the resulting changes in the quality of life, limitation of self-reliance and independence, and thus the change of their individual roles in their families and the society. Disease acceptance is largely correlated with symptom severity and personal control over pain (5). It is perceived as an emotional indicator of the way patients function in disease (6), it reduces the intensity of negative emotions associated with illness and allows one to accept the limitations it induces (7-9).

The primary objective of the study was to verify the influence of socioeconomic factors on acceptation of illness in patients suffering from breast, lung, colorectal and prostate carcinoma. In addition, the analysis included the relationship between illness acceptance and the primary site of cancer and chemotherapy use over the course of past 12 months.

Materials and Methods

The study included 902 patients treated on an outpatient basis at the Center of Oncology, the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute in Warsaw, Poland in the year 2013. The patients consisted of those diagnosed with breast, lung, colorectal and prostate carcinoma. The study group was selected based on the incidence of cancer amongst the Poles. Carcinoma types, which are significant in terms of epidemiology, were selected. The Paper and Pencil Interview (PAPI) technique was applied. The questionnaire comprised demographic questions (socioeconomic variables) and Acceptance of Illness Scale test.

The AIS test includes eight statements regarding negative consequences of poor health condition. Said consequences are grounded in accepting the limitations resulting from disease, the feeling of dependence on others, decreased self-esteem and a lack of self-sufficiency. Owing to its structure, the scale may be used to estimate the degree of acceptance in patients diagnosed with any condition. It is designed for use solely in currently ill adults. It is assumed that the higher disease acceptance, the better adjustment and the lower feeling of mental discomfort. Each of the eight statements listed in AIS can be graded on a scale from 1 to 5. The study participant indicates one number which best describes his status. Number 1 means: "I strongly agree", whereas number 5 stands for "I strongly disagree". Selecting 1 on the AIS scale displays poor adjustment to disease, while choosing 5 - complete acceptance of illness. An individual patient may score between 8 and 40 points, which will reflect the degree of illness acceptance. …

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