Meeting the needs of rural breast cancer survivors: what still needs to be done?

J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000 Jul-Aug;9(6):667-77. doi: 10.1089/15246090050118198.


As screening and treatment for breast cancer improve, learning about survivors' post-treatment needs becomes increasingly important. Focus groups (n = 23) were conducted with breast cancer survivors (n = 128) in rural Washington communities during a 5-month period in 1996 to explore ways to improve the lives of rural breast cancer survivors and to expand existing knowledge of breast cancer survivorship. Survivors reported positive and negative outcomes of their cancer experience. Results indicate that the needs of many women with breast cancer, particularly women diagnosed with late-stage disease, are not being met. Participants diagnosed with late-stage cancer were more likely than participants diagnosed with early-stage cancer to comment about being treated poorly by the medical system and to voice a need for increased support and educational services for breast cancer patients. Rural survivors, regardless of stage at diagnosis, reported needing more education about breast cancer and more emotional support after diagnosis. Further efforts to facilitate support and education within the context of medical care and to improve patient-clinician relationships are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Quality of Life*
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Social Support