The concerns about recurrence scale (CARS): A systematic measure of women’s fears about the possibility of breast cancer recurrence
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- Vickberg, S.M.J. ann. behav. med. (2003) 25: 16. doi:10.1207/S15324796ABM2501_03
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The Concerns About Recurrence Scale (CARS) systematically assesses the extent and nature of women’s fears about the possibility of breast cancer recurrence. In this study with 169 breast cancer survivors, scores on the CARS indicate moderate levels of fear about recurrence overall and demonstrate a range in levels of fear. Findings further suggest that women’s fears of recurrence center around the possibility of death, future treatment, and threats to health more than issues related to roles, femininity, sexuality, or body image. Younger women and women who have had chemotherapy demonstrate greater fears. There is little evidence that cancer stage, time since diagnosis, or type of surgery relate to fears. The CARS was found to be internally consistent, and there is preliminary evidence of its validity, although future research is needed. The measure will likely be a useful tool for researchers and clinicians seeking to understand women’s fears about the possibility of breast cancer recurrence.