CancerIn 2008 for the first time in the Netherlands more people died from cancer than from cardiovascular diseases (source: CBS). In men, cancer has been the main cause of death since 2005, in women cancer is slowly catching up with cardiovascular diseases as main cause of death. Cancer accounts for approximately 30% of the deaths in the Netherlands. Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women, men are most likely to get prostate, lung and bowel cancer (source: Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 2008:152:2233-41).
Breast cancerBreast cancer research is an important line within the area of CoRPS cancer research. Furthermore CoRPS, in collaboration with the Cancer Registry South (IKZ), is investigating prostate cancer, colon cancer, skin melanoma, cancer of the uterus and lymphoma cancer. Breast cancer is an important social problem because of the large number of patients and often the young age of patients. On an annual basis approximately 12.000 women are diagnosed with cancer. Young women (30 – 50 years) do not have a higher risk of dying from breast cancer than elderly women (over 50 years). However breast cancer in younger women has more impact on the general public. Moreover a large part of breast cancer patients is facing psychological problems.
Patient closely involved in treatment plan
This research group is actively involved in the area of making choices in healthcare. Who takes the decision as to what treatment is necessary? The doctor, or is the patient actively involved? Freedom of choice is a hot item, although not all doctors are convinced of this and many patients still think that the doctor will decide for them. Patients have to be aware that they can also involve support of other professionals like psychologists.In a new study researchers want to identify the level of the provision of information to cancer patients in relation to quality of life. An optimal level of the right information is an essential factor when taking decions in healthcare
Quality of life
Quality of life is an aspect which is important when making a decision as to medical treatment. The patient is the only person who can determine what his or her quality of life should be and which kind of treatment will contribute to the quality of life. Moreover psychological and personal factors are also playing a role in the course and prognosis of many cancers.