Understanding the Concerns of Patients Treated for Breast and Gynecological Cancers

The complex landscape of survivorship 

Identifying Concerns of Patients with Breast and Gynecologic Cancers

Oxana Palesh, PhD, MPH

Lidia Schapira, MD

Cancer Survivorship Database Pilot

A collaboration between clinicians at the Women's Cancer Program and the Cancer Survivorship research lab led by Dr. Palesh, is actively collecting information from women with breast and gynecological cancers. Begun with a seed grant from the Stanford Cancer Institute, this research project has several aims: to establish a database that will allow investigators to track cancer survivor’s concerns over time, and to learn more about their ongoing concerns and needs.

Participants who enroll in this study have the opportunity to complete a survey in their own homes at a convenient time. Questions address the personal, emotional, physical and financial impact of cancer on their lives and that of their families. Researchers hope to understand the frequency and intensity of treatment side-effects and to identify the needs for additional supportive interventions. Learning directly from patients will allow the team to identify the types of resources and services that are needed, and that will be helpful to the community of Stanford patients as well as those treated at other institutions around the country and the world.

Project Researchers

Dr. Palesh, a psychologist whose laboratory studies sleep, cognition and behavior in cancer survivors, and Dr. Schapira, a medical oncologist with expertise in treatment of breast cancer and survivorship, have assembled a group of clinicians and researchers with backgrounds in genetics, gynecologic and breast cancer, mental health and behavioral health. They hope to complete accrual to this study in several months, and to share their findings with other researchers through presentations at scientific meetings and publications. Understanding the concerns and needs of patients and survivors is their top concern, and they envision using this information to expand the supportive services required to equip patients with tools that will help them feel confident in managing their cancer.

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