National Survey Calls for Putting "Personal" Back Into Personalized Cancer Care Treatment results, family and faith are motivating factors for cancer patients today

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- New data from The Cancer Experience: A National Study of Patients and Caregivers finds that nearly one in four cancer patients and caregivers remain dissatisfied with their care experience (independent of treatment outcome). The results of this 2014 study echo the findings from the inaugural study, also commissioned by Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and released in 2013. Findings also confirm that patients and caregivers value open communication with their care team, which is often not part of their treatment experience.

According to Gerard van Grinsven, President and CEO of CTCA, a connected patient experience is a critical benchmark for any healthcare organization in today's service-focused environment. "As healthcare leaders, we need to be more deeply focused on putting patients and their experience at the center of everything we do," said van Grinsven. "The important insights from this study continue to inspire discussions about designing an emotionally connected care experience for cancer patients and their families."

The study's findings demonstrate that today's cancer care experience does not meet the emotional and psychological needs of patients and caregivers. This study highlights that health care providers can improve patient and caregiver satisfaction through maintaining open, consistent dialogue and being mindful of the ways gender and ethnicity can shape the cancer treatment experience.

  • Choosing a cancer treatment team is personal.
    • The top three criteria  for patients and caregivers when choosing a treatment facility are timely information (91%), a care team willing to answer questions (90%) and involving patients and caregivers fully in treatment decisions (87%). However, there is a gap between the number of patients who want these things and those who experience them as part of their care.
  • While men and women face similar cancer journeys, they are driven by different needs.
    • Women are significantly more motivated by the support of family and friends to get well (56% women vs. 46% men), while men are more motivated by their desire to live a healthy life and resume daily activities (43% men vs. 36% women).
    • Women are also more likely than men to view components of treatment such as pain management, psychological counseling and nutritional counseling as important.
  • Building cultural connections will help improve the cancer patient experience.
    • When asked what motivates them to endure during cancer treatment, the majority of African-American patients say they are driven by their faith and spirituality (79%), the majority of Hispanic patients say they are driven by family responsibilities and support (84%) and the majority of Caucasian patients say they are driven by their desire to live a healthy life and perform daily activities (74%). 
  • Cancer patients may get lost trying to translate common healthcare terminology, and this can negatively alter their experience with their care team.
    • More than one-third of cancer patients state they don't understand or have never heard of terms that are commonplace in cancer care today. These include genomic testing, integrative cancer care, precision cancer care, survivorship program and complementary cancer care. Women are significantly more likely to understand many of these terms compared to men.

"With patients and caregivers ranking timely, open, two-way communication as extremely important, these results suggest that many are confused by some of the terms healthcare providers regularly use," said Maurie Markman, MD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs and National Director of Medical Oncology. "This shows how important it is for healthcare providers to personalize conversations with their patients, and clearly explain the options and rationale behind treatment decisions."

About The Cancer Experience: A National Study of Patients and Caregivers

The survey measured the comprehensive experience of cancer patients and their caregivers, providing critical insights to the reality of the cancer care experience. The survey shows serious gaps between the expectations for care and the reality of care received today. The Cancer Experience survey was based on a sample of 1,058 cancer patients and 1,058 caregivers who received treatment at hospitals across the United States. It was conducted from March 5 to March 28, 2014. CTCA commissioned the first Cancer Experience survey in 2012.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to

Brianna Huy

Susan Morris

SOURCE Cancer Treatment Centers of America


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