Patients with localized melanoma see their supportive care needs peak at their initial cancer diagnosis and if they experience disease recurrence, a study published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer has shown.1
For the study, investigators enrolled 386 patients with newly diagnosed clinical stage IB/II melanoma. Participants completed surveys every 6 months for 2 years to assess their initial and persisting moderate-to-high supportive care needs.
Results showed that the proportion of patients with needs dropped from 48% to 22% over the first 6 months among patients with no previous melanoma (P <.001), from 35% to 17% among those with previous melanoma (P =.007).
In patients who remained disease-free over the 2-year follow-up period, those reporting unmet needs declined from 14% to 6%.
In contrast, half of the 30 patients who experienced disease recurrence and 39% of the 31 who developed another primary melanoma reported unmet needs.
Researchers also found that stressful life events and anxiety were associated with needs at the time of study enrollment.
Over the 2-year period, at least 1 need, which was fear of recurrence in most patients, persisted in 22% of those were disease-free. Younger age, depression, anxiety, and other stressful life events were associated with persistent needs, suggesting that these patients may benefit from individualized support.
1. Beesley VL, Smithers BM, O’Rourke P, Janda M, Khosrotehrani K, Green AL. Variations in supportive care needs of patients after diagnosis of localised cutaneous melanoma: a 2-year follow-up study. Supp Care Cancer. 2016 Aug 25. doi: 10.1007/s00520-016-3378-9.