New Cancer Patient Survey Shows Emotional Impact of Illness-Related Fatigue Greater than Physical Effect
Fatigue is the Strongest Influence of Compliance, Therapeutic Selection and Continuation of Treatment
Belong Cancer Patient Social Network Asks Users about Common Factors Connecting Fatigue and Cancer
New York, NY – May 9, 2018 – Belong.Life, the world’s fastest-growing and largest cancer patient and caregiver social network, today released results of its patient-engagement survey on how fatigue influences cancer treatment selection and continuation. Highlights indicate that while physical fatigue is a matter of concern to most respondents, 10% cite fatigue as a direct cause stopping, delaying or changing treatment. In addition, 58% see their cancer-related fatigue a key source of anxiety.
“Fatigue is the most cited cancer-related symptom that cascades into the emotional and therapeutic decisions that can impact adherence and outcomes. This Belong community survey highlights how patients are navigating and coping with these challenges,” said Eliran Malki, Co-founder and CEO of Belong. “Data point to the importance of going beyond traditional support methods to proactively advise patients of what to expect throughout their treatment, providing direct physician connection and including emotional navigation into the treatment in order to improve the patient journey.”
The 500+ survey respondents (86% cancer patients and 14% caregivers of cancer patients) opted-in to provide these data:
- 67% are currently in treatment or receiving maintenance treatment while in remission
- 58% experience anxiety due to fatigue
- 44% struggle with depression due to fatigue
- 46% are plagued with worry due to fatigue
- 36% feel anger result from fatigue
10% of respondents said they had stopped, delayed or changed treatment due to fatigue. One Belonger explained that they “couldn’t make it physically to another appointment,” while another stated they were “too tired to go.”
“These survey data demonstrate that the confidence that the healthcare team feel in the therapeutic approach needs to always consider the patient’s physical journey during the course of care,” said Dr. Daniel A. Vorobiof, past Medical Oncology Director of The Sandton Oncology Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, and active participant in the Belong Community. “Information must be part of the care, and that knowledge will translate into an inspired and aware patient who sees fatigue as a point-in-time and not part of the cycle of endless despair.”
Regardless of cancer type, fatigue is a common and concerning symptom for cancer patients, and the Belong Patient Concerns survey found that 65% of participants deal with fatigue daily, and another 17% deal with fatigue every week.
The survey also highlights how lifestyle changes help many patients alleviate fatigue, even more than medication. Outside of recommended rest and sleep, respondents approach to dealing with their fatigue varied:
- 32% say nutrition played a role in helping alleviate their fatigue
- 31% say exercise helps them
- 13% turn to medication
- 11% find having community is helpful
Survey findings also show that 44% of Belongers felt that the Belong app connecting physicians, community, and providing information and helpful tools, was instrumental in dealing with their fatigue;
A Belong user explained, “Sometimes it’s just helpful knowing that others are going through the same thing, so you don’t think your doctor is just telling you what he thinks you want to hear. And sometimes, what others are trying might help people in the same situation.”
Click here to view the full results of Belong.Life’s Fatigue Survey.
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Founded in 2015 by noted entrepreneurs Eliran Malki, Irad Deutsch and Ohad Rubin each having lost relatives to cancer, Belong is a free patient navigation app that gives voice to cancer patients and their support network to explore and better manage their treatment journey and improve quality of life. The Belong global community is a proprietary big data platform and Machine Learning technology that enables people to connect, receive and share clinical information anonymously and discuss privately life issues of urgency. Today, Belong is the world’s largest digital cancer patient platform and is in partnership with the American Cancer Society, Colorectal Cancer Canada and others. For more information, please visit: http://belong.life.
Download link – http://belong.life/download
To download the 2018 Belong’s Fatigue survey results, Click here.