Patient perceptions regarding the likelihood of cure after surgical resection of lung and colorectal cancer

Yuhree Kim, Megan Winner, Andrew Page, Diana M. Tisnado, Kathryn A. Martinez, Stefan Buettner, Aslam Ejaz, Gaya Spolverato, Sydney E. Morss Dy, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND The objective of the current study was to characterize the prevalence of the expectation that surgical resection of lung or colorectal cancer might be curative. The authors sought to assess patient-level, tumor-level, and communication-level factors associated with the perception of cure. METHODS Between 2003 and 2005, a total of 3954 patients who underwent cancer-directed surgery for lung (30.3%) or colorectal (69.7%) cancer were identified from a population-based and health system-based survey of participants from multiple US regions. RESULTS Approximately 80.0% of patients with lung cancer and 89.7% of those with colorectal cancer responded that surgery would cure their cancer. Even 57.4% and 79.8% of patients with stage IV lung and colorectal cancer, respectively, believed surgery was likely to be curative. On multivariable analyses, the odds ratio (OR) of the perception of curative intent was found to be higher among patients with colorectal versus lung cancer (OR, 2.27). Patients who were female, with an advanced tumor stage, unmarried, and having a higher number of comorbidities were less likely to believe that surgery would cure their cancer; educational level, physical function, and insurance status were not found to be associated with perception of cure. Patients who reported optimal physician communication scores (reference score, 0-80; score of 80-100 [OR, 1.40] and score of 100 [OR, 1.89]) and a shared role in decision-making with their physician (OR, 1.16) or family (OR, 1.17) had a higher odds of perceiving surgery would be curative, whereas patients who reported physician-controlled (OR, 0.56) or family-controlled (OR, 0.72) decision-making were less likely to believe surgery would provide a cure. CONCLUSIONS Greater focus on patient-physician engagement, communication, and barriers to discussing goals of care with patients who are diagnosed with cancer is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3564-3573
Number of pages10
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2015


  • cancer
  • communication
  • cure
  • perception
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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