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Physician-patient communication may improve liver cancer screening

18 May 2017

Effective physician communication with chronic liver disease patients is important with respect to the risks of developing liver cancer and the significance of regular screening, particularly among nonwhites and those with lower education, suggests a recent study.

A total of 467 patients with chronic liver disease at a tertiary-care clinic participated in a phone survey regarding awareness of cancer screening, doctor-patient communication and health behaviours. Researchers retrospectively reviewed medical records for data on liver disease aetiology and dates of liver imaging tests.

Of the patients, 79 percent reported awareness of liver cancer screening and 50 percent reported talking to their doctor about liver cancer. Higher education (p=0.06), alcohol abstinence (p=0.005) and liver cirrhosis (p<0.0001) were associated with awareness of liver cancer screening.

Whites (p=0.006), patients with higher education (p=0.09) and those with cirrhosis (p<0.0001) were more likely to talk to their doctor about liver cancer. Awareness of liver cancer screening (79 percent) was comparable to that of colorectal cancer screening (85 percent), lower than breast cancer screening (91 percent) and higher than prostate cancer screening (66 percent).

Patients who were aware of liver cancer screening (odds ratio [OR], 4.81; 95 percent CI, 2.62 to 8.84) and reported talking to their doctor about liver cancer (OR, 1.97; 1.19 to 3.28) were more likely to receive consistent liver surveillance.

“Physicians need to be aware of the persistent disparities by patient education in clinical communication regarding cancer screening and tailor their efforts to the needs of low-education patients,” researchers from a previous study said. “Quality-improvement efforts targeted at physicians practicing in low-income communities may also be effective in addressing disparities in cancer screening communication by patient income.” [Health Serv Res 2007;42:950-970]

Patients with chronic liver disease have an increased risk of developing liver cancer.

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Most Read Articles
Elvira Manzano, 5 days ago
Bisphosphonates have proven antifracture efficacy and remain to be the cornerstone of osteoporosis treatment. However, a drug holiday is of particular importance with bisphosphonates due to some signals with long-term use of the drug, including rare incidence of atypical femoral fracture (AFF) and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), says a leading endocrinologist at AFOS 2017.
Yesterday
Breast cancer patients have notably different microbiomes in the local breast tissue and urinary tract, a recent study reveals. Particularly, species in the Methylobacterium genus are reduced in the local breast tissue while the urinary tract is enriched in gram-positive bacteria.
Pearl Toh, 13 Oct 2017
Women with higher plasma tryptophan concentrations were less likely to have poor sleep quality during pregnancy, especially among those with anxiety symptoms, according to the GUSTO* study.
Tristan Manalac, Yesterday
Statin use, particularly in smokers, obese patients and nondiabetics, has a strong and dose-dependent association with decreasing risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), according to a new study.