1406 - Knowledge assessment of medical and oncological terminology in lung cancer patients

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Thoracic malignancies
Patient Education and Advocacy
Presenter Anna Kieszkowska-Grudny
Authors A. Kieszkowska-Grudny1, M. Rucinska2, E. Meszko2, S. Nawrocki2
  • 1The European Health Centre Otwock, 05-400 - Otwock/PL
  • 2Department Of Oncology, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn/PL



Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers. Clear information about diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and its side effects is important in cooperation between patients and medical staff. The aim of the study was to find out what lung cancer patients know about their disease and treatment.

Material and methods

50 lung cancer patients (41 - 70 years old) were included to the study. All patients were treated with radiotherapy, 39 patients (78%) have been previously treated by chemotherapy, 13 patients (26%) were after surgery. All patients have been informed by doctors about their cancer, treatment and side effects before radiotherapy started and got written information. Subjects filled out questionnaires that included closed questions with 5 responses, of which one was correct, 3 incorrect, and the last: “I do not know”. The wording used in the survey, such as: neoplasm, cancer, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, side effects, itching, peeling skin, etc., came from a consent form including side effects of treatment. Statistical analysis was done based on Chi2 test, descriptive statistics and logistic regression. The significance level was p < 0,05.


No one of lung cancer patients answered all asked questions correctly. Eleven patients (22%) were unable to properly answer any question. Only 15 pts (30%) were able to correctly answer at least half of questions. Only 8 people (16%) knew the right definition of cancer and there were no differences in this knowledge between patients age, sex, education, place of living and treatment obtained. Right awareness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy had 32% and 39% of patients, respectively. More than 50% of patients did not know what side effects or itching, skin's exfoliation, sleep disorders mean. Interestingly, about 42% of patients knew the right definition of cardiac arrhythmias. We found out that only level of education is a predictor of better knowledge for many terms, like e.g.: neoplasm, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, sides effects (p < 0,05).


Knowledge about cancer and treatment-related terms is very poor in lung cancer patients. Level of understanding varies depending on level of education and some on place of residence. Further studies are needed.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.