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Adv Clin Exp Med. 2016 Jul-Aug;25(4):733-40. doi: 10.17219/acem/61014.

Adjustment to Life with Lung Cancer.

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Department of Public Health, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland.
Division of Cancer Prevention, Medical University of Warsaw and Department of Oncology and Hematology CSK MSW, Poland.



In Poland, lung cancer is the most common type of cancer in males (20% of all cases) and third most common type of cancer in females (9% of all cases), right behind breast and colorectal cancers. Recently, 28,000 new cases of lung cancer per year were reported in both genders.


The objective of the study was to asses coping strategies, pain management, acceptance of illness and adjustment to cancer in patients diagnosed with pulmonary carcinoma and the effect of socioeconomic variables on the abovementioned issues.


The study included 243 patients diagnosed with lung cancer during outpatient chemotherapy (classical chemotherapy and molecularly targeted therapies) at the Center of Oncology, Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute in Warszawa. We applied the Paper and Pencil Interview (PAPI) technique. The questionnaire interview was composed of demographic questions and the following four psychometric tests: BPCQ measuring the influence of factors affecting pain management in patients, CSQ designed to evaluate pain coping strategies, AIS questionnaire, measuring disease acceptance, and the mini-Mac scale, assessing psychological adjustment to disease.


The highest mean score recorded in the BPCQ was recorded in the powerful doctors subscale (16.79) and the lowest in the internal factors section (15.64). Education, professional status and income were the variables which differentiated the scores. We recorded the top average score in CSQ in the coping self statements subscale (mean = 19.64), and the lowest score in the reinterpreting pain sensations subscale (mean score = 10.32). The results of the test were differentiated by education and income. Patients had the highest Mini-MAC scale scores in the fighting spirit section (21.91).


In the case of patients affected with lung cancer, education and professional status affect the way patients treat doctors in the disease process. These variables are also critical in patients' approach to disease and methods of coping with it.


acceptance of illness; lung cancer; pain management

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