AbstractThe aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge and educational needs with regard to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer among nurses working in breast cancer care in the Nagasaki Prefecture. In breast cancer care, the identification of patients at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is necessary for the implementation of genetic testing and counseling. Nurses should be involved in this process, since they play a crucial role in the care of patients with breast cancer. However, the knowledge regarding hereditary breast and ovarian cancer among nurses working in oncology care in Japan has not been assessed. The design of this study is cross-sectional design. We distributed 597 surveys to nurses working in breast cancer care. The surveys assessed the nurses’ demographic data, their current knowledge and practices regarding cancer genetics and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and their attitude and preferences regarding learning about the condition. We received 317 valid replies. Nurses had limited knowledge about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer characteristics: 41.6% reported that they do not know about the condition, whereas less than 10% knew its characteristics. However, nurses were aware of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer significance and were willing to learn about it: 91% wished to learn about the condition, and 88.6% wanted to participate in study group meetings. Further, nurses’ preferences regarding educational programs were clarified. Overall, our results show that educational programs should be implemented to advance nurses’ knowledge of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer characteristics.
Breast cancer incidence in Northern Thailand has shown a continuous increase since records began in 1983. In 2002 the urgency of the situation prompted Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital to initiate the Suandok Breast Cancer Network (SBCN).
The SBCN is a not-for-profit organization in the university hospital which serves as a training and education center and provides highly specialized medical care for patients in Chiang Mai and in 5 provinces of northern Thailand, with the key mission of improving breast cancer care. The short-term goal was to overcome the barriers to engagement with breast cancer and its treatment and the long-term goal was to increase the overall survival rate of breast cancer patients in our region.
We enrolled breast cancer patients treated at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital between January 2006 and December 2015 and divided into 2 cohorts: 1485 patients who were diagnosed from 2006 to 2009 (cohort 1: early implementation of SBCN) and 2383 patients who were diagnosed from 2010 to 2015 (cohort 2: full implementation of SBCN). Criteria to measure improved cancer waiting time (CWT) would include: time to diagnosis, time to surgery, and time to radiotherapy. The 5-year overall survival (OS) of the cohort 2 was higher than that in cohort 1, at 73.8 (72.0–75.5) compared to 71.5 (69.2–73.7) (p-value = 0.03).
Reasons behind the success of project include the uniformity of care encouragement, service network development and timely access to each step of breast cancer management. The model used in SBCN could be adopted as a learning guide to improve healthcare access and outcome for breast cancer patients in low- to middle-income countries.