46% of Cancer Patients and Caregivers Unaware of Clinical Trial Participation as a Treatment Option
50% of Early Breast Cancer Patients Experience Lowered Sex Drive After Diagnosis
NEW YORK, May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Belong.Life, developer of social and professional networks for managing and navigating diseases, and the creator of the world's largest social network for cancer patients, today announced that the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has published two abstracts in its 2021 Annual Meeting Abstract Book based on data aggregated from the Belong Beating Cancer Together app. The abstracts provide key insights into significant challenges for oncology patients, including sexuality and clinical trial participation.
"Belong.Life strives to provide true value for the global cancer community through our quality real-world data and advanced technology – for patients, caregivers, health professionals, providers and pharma," said Belong.Life CEO Eliran Malki. "We are deeply committed to helping advance the state of cancer research, and our AI capabilities offer great understanding into patient journeys, providing invaluable insights for physicians and patients alike. We thank our doctors and researchers who developed these studies, as well as the committed Belongers who participated."
The first study (abstract e24118) examined the reasons behind the extremely low level (~3%) of clinical trial participation among cancer patients. Clinical trial participation is crucial for medical advancement and is an important treatment option, at times the only one, for oncology patients. Of the 290 study participants, 46% had not even heard of clinical trial participation as a treatment option, with 92% of that group expressing the desire to learn more about it. Among the 156 participants who were aware of clinical trials, 33% heard about it from medical staff, 26% from multiple online resources, and 25% through the Belong Beating Cancer Together app. Only 8% of study participants had previously participated in a clinical trial.
This study highlights the importance for the oncological community to not only inform, but personally tailor clinical trial information to cancer patients and caregivers, and stresses how digital health platforms are an important source for driving awareness of clinical trials.
The second study (abstract e18779) explored sexuality and intimacy-related issues in women with early breast cancer and the resulting partner-reported experience. When a patient's tumor is located in a sexual organ, the quality of the sexual and intimate lives of both patients and their respective partners can be affected. In this study, 64% of patients didn't have any complaints of intimacy and sexuality issues prior to their diagnosis. This shifted significantly after their breast cancer diagnosis, with 50% mentioning less sex drive and 40% less intimacy. In the partners group, 67% didn't have complaints before the diagnosis, but 28% voiced concerns afterwards.
This study demonstrates the importance of holistically understanding sexual and intimacy-related issues that patients and their partners face after a cancer diagnosis; issues that ultimately affect the patient's quality of life.
"The biggest takeaway from these studies is the importance of focusing on both quality of life and quality of care for cancer patients. It is essential that we help them find solutions to keep living their lives to the fullest, even during ill health and treatment," said Belong.Life Medical Director Dr. Daniel Vorobiof. "We must also ensure that patients are well-informed of all the treatment options available for their unique diagnosis. These studies demonstrate the value of using social networking and digital health platforms to better understand individual treatment journeys, engage patients and help them navigate the path ahead."
ASCO's annual meeting is taking place virtually from June 4 – 8.
Belong.Life develops social and professional networks for managing and navigating various diseases and patient journeys and is the creator of the world's largest social network for cancer patients (Belong-Beating Cancer Together), BelongMS, BelongIBD (select countries), CoronApp and more. Belong.Life's mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of care around the world through technology, engagement, data and AI for patient communities, healthcare organizations, pharma and hospitals. The company's end-to-end solutions encourage the formation of patient communities, and provide care coordination, customized content and advanced management features for users. Delivering actionable insights into patient journeys, Belong uncovers key trends and patterns that can help improve global care.
For more information visit https://belong.life.
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