Cancer survivorship needs in Brazil: Patient and family perspective

Antonio Tadeu Cheriff dos Santos, Rildo Pereira da Silva, Liz Maria de Almeida, Maria Lúcia Magalhães Bosi, Maria de Fátima Batalha de Menezes, Marcia Marília Vargas Fróes Skaba, Gustavo Nigenda, Carlos André Moura Arruda, Cleoneide Paulo Oliveira Pinheiro, María Cecilia González-Robledo, Felícia Marie Knaul

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1 Scopus citations


Introduction Cancer Survivorship is a growing public health challenge. Effective responses from health care and social services depend on appropriate identification of survivors and their families´ specific needs. There are few studies on survivorship in low and middle-income countries, therefore, more evidence-based studies are necessary to develop a comprehensive approach to cancer survivorship. Objectives Identify the needs of cancer survivors and their relatives, specifically those of individuals with breast, cervical or prostate cancer, and with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Methods A qualitative, exploratory study conducted in two referral institutions in Brazil, located in Rio de Janeiro (Southeast region) and Fortaleza (Northeast region). The study included 47 patients of public and private health services and 12 family members. We used script-based semi-structured interviews. The discursive material obtained was categorized and analyzed using the Thematic Analysis approach. Results The analysis identified three central themes: 1) consequences of cancer treatment; 2) Changes in daily life associated with cancer survivorship; and 3) Unmet structural needs in cancer survivorship. Conclusion Social and cancer control policies in Brazil should provide resources, specific care standards and clinical, psychological and social support. Cancer survivors should also receive rehabilitation and work reintegration guidelines. This matter requires broader access to qualified cancer information, development of an integrated patient-centered care and care model, and more research resources for the country’s post-treatment cancer period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0239811
JournalPloS one
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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