Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Non-oncologist Physicians Regarding Cancer and Palliative Care: A Multi-center Study from Pakista


Background: Cancer is a major cause of disease burden in Pakistan, so that knowledge of physicians aboutall aspects should be adequate, especially for palliative care for end stage management, given the generally latestage presentation. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in three tertiary care hospitals andareas of general practice in Pakistan.
Results: A total of 236 non-oncologist physicians were assessed. Most ofthem claimed to have cared for cancer patients in someway and considered that cancer treatment is often longand protracted. However, one-third were unaware of the fact that cancer is a major disease burden in oursociety. About half of them thought that chemotherapy makes patients miserable. Oncology as a practice wasconsidered financially of low reward by about a quarter. Most physicians, including consultants, were unawareof the term hospice. Many did not know where to refer cases of cancer and about the commonest cancers inPakistani males.
Conclusions: Awareness about cancer and palliative care among primary physicians needs tobe improved for cancer prevention and control.