Identifying perceptions and putative barriers to adjuvant chemotherapy in older women with breast cancer (AChEW)
Principal Investigator: Professor
Study co-ordinator and lead researcher: Dr Helena Harder
Data Manager: Carolyn Langridge
Co-investigator: Dr Alistair Ring
Lay representative: Mrs Anne Pick
Supported by: Educational grant by Roche Products Limited.
Over half of women who die from breast cancer each year are aged 70 or over. However older women are usually underrepresented in clinical trials and there is little reliable information about the harms or benefits of chemotherapy in this patient group. As life expectancy is generally increasing, the numbers of elderly women with breast cancer are also increasing. In the absence of evidence-based treatment protocols the assumptions that elderly patients do not benefit from chemotherapy, will not tolerate chemotherapy or do not want chemotherapy persist. It has become apparent that these patients may well be under-treated.
This observational study aims to identify health care professionals’ and patients’ perceptions and putative barriers to chemotherapy in older women over the age of 70 and with early stage breast cancer suitable for adjuvant chemotherapy. This will be achieved through by a national survey of specialist breast care nurses; an audit of oncologists’ decision-making about the treatments offered; and patient interviews about decision-making when offered chemotherapy.