Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

A lack of faith in the healthcare system could be causing non-adherence in cancer patients – and, in turn, affecting cancer recurrence

November 2017

As many as a third of US patients with breast cancer could be avoiding treatments recommended by their doctors, because of a mistrust in healthcare institutions, according to a recent study (1).

A survey of 2,754 women from Florida and Pennsylvania followed over two years found that 30.2 percent reported either not beginning, or not continuing with, at least one recommended adjuvant therapy following breast cancer surgery. Lead author Lorraine Dean was not entirely shocked, noting in a press release (2): “While it is surprising in general that nearly one-third of patients are not following up with recommended adjuvant treatment, some earlier, more localized studies have reported even higher discordance rates, and it’s possible that our own figures would have been higher if we had followed patients for more than two years.”