Awareness of Cancer Screening During Treatment of Patients with Renal Failure: A Physician Survey in Turkey


Background: Today, survival rate of patients with chronic renal failure/hemodialysis has increased so thatchronic illnesses are more likely to occur. Cancer is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in such patients.Aim: In this study, physician attitudes were examined about cancer screening in patients with renal failure.Materials and
Methods: This study was done by face to face questionnaire in the 27th National NephrologyCongress to determine if the physicians dealing with chronic renal failure, hemodialysis or renal transplantedpatients, recommend cancer screening or not and the methods of screening for cervix, prostate, breast and coloncancer.
Results: One hundred and fifty six physicians were included in the survey. A total of 105 (67%) participantswere male and the age of responders was 48±9 years. About 29% were specialists in nephrology, 28% internalmedicine, and 5% were other areas of expertise. Some 48% of participants were hemodialysis certified generalpractitioners. Patients were grouped as compensated chronic renal failure, hemodialysis or renal transplanted.Of the 156 responders, 128 (82%) physicians recommended breast cancer screening and the most recommendedsubgroup was hemodialysis patients (15%). The most preferred methods of screening were combinations ofmammography, self breast examination and physicianbreast examination. 112 (72%) physicians recommendedcervix cancer screening, and the most preferred method of screening was pap-smear. Colon cancer screeningwas recommended by 102 (65%) physicians and prostate screening by 109 (70%) physicians. The most preferredmethods of screening were fecal occult blood test and PSA plus rectal digital test, respectively.
Conclusions: Itis not obvious whether cancer screening in renal failure patients is different from the rest of society. There isa variety of screening methods. An answer can be found to these questions as a result of studies by a commonfollow-up protocol and cooperation of nephrologists and oncologists.