Social factors, unemployment, and a prior history of melanoma were associated with greater baseline cancer worry among patients with skin cancers, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The study included 637 patients who underwent dermatologic surgery at a tertiary cancer center. Patients prospectively completed the Cancer Worry Scale (score of 0-100; higher score equals more worry) prior to surgery. The scale assesses worry of recurrence, anxiety about cancer, worry of cancer spreading, worry of cancer interfering with daily activities, relationships, etc.
A total of 222 patients completed the questionnaire and had a mean time between surgery and survey completion of 8.3 weeks.
Patients reported significantly lower scores after surgery (mean, 41.3±20.5; P<0.001) compared with baseline (mean, 49.3).
Which factors impact worry?
The following factors were associated with greater baseline cancer worry:
- Living alone
- History of melanoma
The following factors were not associated with cancer worry:
- Type of skin cancer
- Anatomic location
- Tumor size