Dermavitality Research Blog
Identifying Patients Whose Symptoms Are Under recognized During Treatment With Breast Radiotherapy.
Question Do physicians accurately detect treatment-associated toxic effect symptoms in patients with breast cancer?
Findings In this cohort study of 13 725 patients with breast cancer who received treatment with radiotherapy after undergoing lumpectomy, when patient reports were compared with matched physician reports for 9868 patients, more than half of those patients experiencing substantial acute toxic effect symptoms during radiotherapy had symptoms that were under recognized by physicians during their treatment course (2933 of 5510). Factors independently significantly associated with under recognition were younger age, Black or Other race and ethnicity (including American Indian/Alaska Native, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Asian), conventional fractionation, male physician sex, and 2-field radiotherapy.
Meaning The findings of this study suggest that physicians may systematically miss substantial symptoms in certain patients, particularly patients who are young or Black individuals or those of Other race and ethnicity; improving symptom detection may be a targetable mechanism to reduce disparities in experiences and outcomes.
JAMA Oncol. Published online April 21, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2022.0114