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T. Beran, T. A. Young, A. L. Stanton; Patient Needs, Perceptions, and Preferences in Choroidal Melanoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1948.
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Choroidal melanoma is the most common intraocular cancer in adults. Despite effective ocular treatment, at least 50% of patients succumb to metastatic death. It has recently been demonstrated that cytogenetic testing for Monosomy 3 at the time of surgery may allow prognosis for metastasis to be determined. However, the significance of this test to the patient has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate cancer-related patient quality of life, needs, perceptions, and importance of receiving prognostic test results.
All English-speaking patients diagnosed and treated at the Ophthalmic Oncology Center at the Jules Stein Eye Institute between January 2002 and November 2006 were recruited by mail for participation in the study. Participants completed a questionnaire packet which assessed quality of life (MOS-SF-36), cancer-related needs (Cancer Needs Questionnaire), visual functioning (MOOD), opinions on the cause of choroidal melanoma, opinions on Monosomy 3 prognostic testing, and opinions regarding psychological counseling at the time of diagnosis and treatment.
Eighty patients completed the questionnaire. Choroidal melanoma patients’ quality of life and visual functioning was compared to the normal population. There was variability in the circumstances individuals believed caused their cancer. Patients treated for choroidal melanoma continued to report long-lasting needs for information and emotional support related to their diagnosis of cancer and reported wanting psychological counseling at the time of diagnosis. Knowledge of Monosomy 3 testing was important to subjects.
Directed psychological care of patients with choroidal melanoma may be an important part of the multidisciplinary treatment approach to this cancer. Prognostic testing for metastasic risk is important to patients with choroidal melanoma despite a lack of effective treatments for metastatic disease. A better understanding of the psychological parameters affecting these patients must be further explored.
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