Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Radiation Therapy in Breast Cancer Patients: The Role of a Multidisciplinary Care Team

  • Yasamin Sharifzadeh
  • Alexander N. SladeEmail author
  • Elisabeth Weiss
  • Arnethea L. Sutton
  • Vanessa B. Sheppard


Previous studies have shown that breast cancer patients’ beliefs regarding radiation therapy (RT) are influenced by a multitude of factors encompassing demographic, socioeconomic, cultural, and healthcare-related domains. The association between consultation with a multidisciplinary care team and breast cancer patients’ attitudes towards RT, however, remains understudied. Using survey and medical record data from 185 women with invasive, non-metastatic breast cancer who received breast conserving surgery, we aimed to characterize the relationship between the number and type of oncological specialties consulted and women’s belief in RT’s ability to decrease the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence. Using multivariable models, we found that compared to women who discussed RT with only one oncologist (medical, radiation, or surgical), women who discussed RT with all three oncologists were more likely to report increased agreement with RT’s ability to reduce cancer recurrence. No single specialty of oncology, including radiation oncology, showed increased associations with women’s beliefs regarding RT’s efficacy. We conclude that women’s beliefs in the ability of radiation therapy to reduce breast cancer recurrence are associated with an increased number of oncologic physicians consulted.


Radiotherapy Patient beliefs Breast cancer Patient education 



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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyVirginia Commonwealth University Health System, Massey Cancer CenterRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Behavior & PolicyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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