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Feelings about Radiotherapy: the Brazilian Cancer
Patients' Perspective
Siqueira ACA;1
Kruse M1
; Barros LHC1
Instituto Oncoguia
1. Chierchini et al. Physician And Patient Barriers To Radiotherapy Service Access: Treatment Referral Implications.Cancer Management and Research. 2019;11: 8829–8833.
2. Araújo LP, Sá NM, Atty ATM. Necessidades Atuais de Radioterapia no SUS e Estimativas para o Ano de 2030. Revista Brasileira de Cancerologia 2016; 62(1): 35-42.
3. Viani GA et al. Prioritizing locations for radiotherapy equipment in Brazil:a cross-sectional, population-based study and development of a LINAC shortage index. The Lancet Oncol. 2022; (22)000123-1:S1470-204
4. Letho et al. Patients’ perceptions of the negative effects following different prostate cancer treatments and the impact on psychological well-being: a nationwide survey. British Journal of Cancer. 2017; 116: 864–873.
5. Radojevic et al. The Questionnaire For Assessment Fear Of Radiotherapy In Oncology Patients. Ser J Exp Clin Res. 2017; 1-1.
115924
● More than half of all cancer patients receive
radiotherapy during their treatment. 1,2,3
● 80% of Brazilians access services, including
radiotherapy, through the public Unified Health
System (SUS).2,3
● Patients’ feelings about radiotherapy have been
well studied globally 4,5
but not as much in Brazil.
INTRODUCTION
Oncoguia is a Brazilian patient advocacy organization. We
conducted a study to investigate feelings about
radiotherapy among cancer patients who had or will
complete radiotherapy.
● Cross-sectional study conducted April to June 2021
● Online survey distributed via social networks
● Data analysis - descriptive data that considered feelings
about radiotherapy based on the type of health system
used (public or private)
OBJECTIVE AND METHODS
RESULTS
Private Public
% (n/N)
Feelings BEFORE Radiotherapy
confident radiotherapy was important to control their disease 80 (470/591) 89 (258/290)
hopeful radiotherapy could cure their cancer 86 (509/591) 87 (251/290)
nervous about side effects 38 (210/551) 50 (146/290)
unsure because they had many doubts 27 (148/551) 40 (117/290)
worried because they believed radiotherapy was needed only for severe cases 24 (132/551) 32 (94/290)
Feelings AFTER Radiotherapy
realized their side effects were manageable 41 (227/551) 45 (130/290)
shared their worries with their health team 34 (186/551) 36 (105/290)
exchanged information with other patients 25 (135/551) 40 (116/290)
noticed an improvement in their disease because of radiotherapy 15 (82/551) 24 (71/290)
CONCLUSION
A total of 841 responses were analyzed. A majority (93%, 653/700) were female, active (32%, 272/841) or former (68%,
569/841) cancer patients. Most self-identified as white (71%, 492/694) or black (26%, 178/694). The average age was 46.
Respondents accessed health services through private (66%, 551/841) or public (34%, 290/841) systems. Nearly all (95%,
800/841) had completed their radiation treatment, though a few (5%, 41/841) were undergoing treatment at the time of
the survey. Feelings about radiotherapy were assessed before and after the treatment and varied (Table 1).
Our results demonstrated that cancer patients have mixed feelings about starting radiotherapy, potentially from a
lack of quality information about the treatment. Public users experienced more negative feelings than private health
users, which could impact treatment adherence and quality of life. After beginning radiotherapy, respondents
engaged with their health team and peers, suggesting a need for further support at this time.
Table 1: Reported feelings about radiotherapy before and after treatment, by private and public health users

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Feelings about Radiotherapy: the Brazilian Cancer Patients' Perspective

  • 1. Feelings about Radiotherapy: the Brazilian Cancer Patients' Perspective Siqueira ACA;1 Kruse M1 ; Barros LHC1 Instituto Oncoguia 1. Chierchini et al. Physician And Patient Barriers To Radiotherapy Service Access: Treatment Referral Implications.Cancer Management and Research. 2019;11: 8829–8833. 2. Araújo LP, Sá NM, Atty ATM. Necessidades Atuais de Radioterapia no SUS e Estimativas para o Ano de 2030. Revista Brasileira de Cancerologia 2016; 62(1): 35-42. 3. Viani GA et al. Prioritizing locations for radiotherapy equipment in Brazil:a cross-sectional, population-based study and development of a LINAC shortage index. The Lancet Oncol. 2022; (22)000123-1:S1470-204 4. Letho et al. Patients’ perceptions of the negative effects following different prostate cancer treatments and the impact on psychological well-being: a nationwide survey. British Journal of Cancer. 2017; 116: 864–873. 5. Radojevic et al. The Questionnaire For Assessment Fear Of Radiotherapy In Oncology Patients. Ser J Exp Clin Res. 2017; 1-1. 115924 ● More than half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy during their treatment. 1,2,3 ● 80% of Brazilians access services, including radiotherapy, through the public Unified Health System (SUS).2,3 ● Patients’ feelings about radiotherapy have been well studied globally 4,5 but not as much in Brazil. INTRODUCTION Oncoguia is a Brazilian patient advocacy organization. We conducted a study to investigate feelings about radiotherapy among cancer patients who had or will complete radiotherapy. ● Cross-sectional study conducted April to June 2021 ● Online survey distributed via social networks ● Data analysis - descriptive data that considered feelings about radiotherapy based on the type of health system used (public or private) OBJECTIVE AND METHODS RESULTS Private Public % (n/N) Feelings BEFORE Radiotherapy confident radiotherapy was important to control their disease 80 (470/591) 89 (258/290) hopeful radiotherapy could cure their cancer 86 (509/591) 87 (251/290) nervous about side effects 38 (210/551) 50 (146/290) unsure because they had many doubts 27 (148/551) 40 (117/290) worried because they believed radiotherapy was needed only for severe cases 24 (132/551) 32 (94/290) Feelings AFTER Radiotherapy realized their side effects were manageable 41 (227/551) 45 (130/290) shared their worries with their health team 34 (186/551) 36 (105/290) exchanged information with other patients 25 (135/551) 40 (116/290) noticed an improvement in their disease because of radiotherapy 15 (82/551) 24 (71/290) CONCLUSION A total of 841 responses were analyzed. A majority (93%, 653/700) were female, active (32%, 272/841) or former (68%, 569/841) cancer patients. Most self-identified as white (71%, 492/694) or black (26%, 178/694). The average age was 46. Respondents accessed health services through private (66%, 551/841) or public (34%, 290/841) systems. Nearly all (95%, 800/841) had completed their radiation treatment, though a few (5%, 41/841) were undergoing treatment at the time of the survey. Feelings about radiotherapy were assessed before and after the treatment and varied (Table 1). Our results demonstrated that cancer patients have mixed feelings about starting radiotherapy, potentially from a lack of quality information about the treatment. Public users experienced more negative feelings than private health users, which could impact treatment adherence and quality of life. After beginning radiotherapy, respondents engaged with their health team and peers, suggesting a need for further support at this time. Table 1: Reported feelings about radiotherapy before and after treatment, by private and public health users