Korean J Gastroenterol.  2020 Apr;75(4):198-206. 10.4166/kjg.2020.75.4.198.

Effect of Cancer Awareness on Treatment Decision for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

  • 1College of Nursing, Research Institute of Nursing Science, Jeonbuk National University, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, Korea
  • 3Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Jeonbuk National University-Biomedical Research Institute of Jeonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, Korea


With recent changes in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, patients’ active decision-making has become more important. Nevertheless, it is difficult to give patients proper insights into the disease. The purpose of this study was to determine associated factors between pancreatic cancer awareness and treatment decisions as well as how cancer awareness affects the timing of treatment decisions and the desired treatment method.
This is a retrospective study that reviewed and analyzed the electronic medical records of 110 patients who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer from January 2013 to April 2016. A "patient with pancreatic cancer awareness" means that the patient was informed of their disease state before making the first treatment decision.
Of all, only 63.6% of patients (n=70) were shown to have pancreatic cancer awareness before making their first treatment decision. Compared to patients without pancreatic cancer awareness, patients with pancreatic cancer awareness were younger (65.00 vs. 76.98, t=6.70, p<0.001), were more likely to have presented their spouse as legal guardians (42.9% vs. 10.0%, χ2=31.70, p<0.001), and spent a shorter time for treatment decision-making (1.6 vs. 10.5 days, t=4.26, p<0.001). The patients without pancreatic cancer awareness were more likely to opt for best supportive care compared to the patients with pancreatic cancer awareness (79.5% vs. 28.6%, χ2=31.70, p<0.001).
This study provides insights into cancer awareness. Since cancer awareness appears to influence treatment decision, it is necessary to develop guidelines to improve cancer awareness of patients.


Pancreatic neoplasms; Truth disclosure; Awareness; Decision making; Therapeutics
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