Background: Cancer patients navigate through complex and dynamic health services/systems after diagnosis to receive high-quality and effective
care. An understanding of a cancer patient’s journey will help in improving the quality of care. A survey was conducted on patients and medical
oncologists across India with an objective to map various aspects of patient journey from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up for advanced Breast
Cancer (BC) and Lung Cancer (LC).
Methods: A multidimensional survey was shared with adult patients diagnosed with advanced stage (stage III B and stage IV) breast or lung
cancer who were undergoing therapy and medical oncologists who have more than 10-years of experience in treating breast or lung cancer.
Results: A total of 100 patients with a diagnosis of Stage III B/IV breast cancer (BC), 100 patients with Stage III B/IV Lung Cancer (LC), and 55
medical oncologists participated in the survey. It was noted that similar numbers of BC (49%) and LC (50%) patients were not aware about cancer
symptoms and treatments while the surveyed medical oncologists believed only 11% and 20% patients were not aware of cancer symptoms
and treatment, respectively. Selecting the right specialist was reported to be the primary challenge faced by patients. As per surveyed medical
oncologists, only 5% of them discuss support from Patient Advocacy Groups (PAGs) with all their patients. The majority of medical oncologists
(79%) reported that less than 30% of patients join PAGs. Most patients were expecting empathy and time for counselling from their medical
Conclusion: Coordinated and comprehensive cancer care is essential for patients with advanced LC and BC. The survey results also highlight
the importance of screening high risk populations, importance of educational material for patients, counseling on treatment plan, information about
financial support programs, counseling on mental well-being, nutritional support, and information about PAGs.