Background: Oral (p.o.) chemotherapy treatments gained increasing importance in the palliative treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Aim of this survey was to evaluate the acceptance of p.o. treatment and patients' individual attitudes towards it.
Methods: A specific 14 item-questionnaire was designed. Patients suffering from breast cancer receiving a newly launched p.o. or i.v. chemotherapy treatment were prospectively evaluated during 4 months of time. 224 questionnaires using descriptive statistics, chi-square test, Spearman correlation were evaluated.
Results: Patients' median age was 54 years, 164 received i.v., 60 p.o therapy. 89% with p.o. and 67% with i.v. regimens would choose p.o. over i.v. therapy, if equal efficacy is guaranteed. Significant differences were especially found in terms of personal benefit (55% i.v., 92% p.o.), reduced feeling of being ill due to p.o. treatment (26% i.v., 65% p.o.), better coping with disease due to p.o. therapy (36% i.v., 68% p.o.). Side effects were significantly less often reported under p.o. treatment (19% p.o. vs. 53% i.v.)
Conclusion: P.o. chemotherapy shows a high acceptance in MBC patients under palliative therapy. Compliance can be achieved in particular through a differentiated indication, patient education and competent support along a p.o. treatment.