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Psychooncology. 2003 Oct-Nov;12(7):664-74.

Travelling for radiation cancer treatment: patient perspectives.

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Psychosocial and Behavioral Research Unit, Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada.


Radiation treatment for cancer requires patients to receive frequent administrations and attend the treatment facility on a daily basis for several weeks. Travelling for radiation treatment has the potential to add to the distress an individual may be feeling. This study utilized in-depth interviews to capture 118 patients' perspectives about travelling for cancer treatment. Four themes emerged during the analysis of the data: (1) waiting was the most difficult part of the experience; (2) the idea of travelling for treatment was distressing; (3) travelling for treatment was tiring and posed difficulties for patients; and (4) being away from home had both benefits and drawbacks. Given the inevitability of travelling for radiation treatment, and the issues that arises for patients, supportive strategies need to be designed and implemented.

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