Caregivers May Be More Forthcoming

CHICAGO, May 21 (UPI) — Caregivers of patients with brain tumors may be more forthcoming to the doctor than the patients, a U.S. researcher says.

Senior author Dr. Jeffrey Raizer, co-director of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute and the Feinberg School of Medicine, says he has seen many brain cancer patients over the years. He says patients often rise to the occasion when they see the doctor and may minimize their symptoms. “You may ask a patient if he is tired and he says, ‘No,’” Raizer said. “Then the caregiver will say, ‘But you are sleeping 20 hours a day.’ So, there is a disconnect. The patient tells you one thing and the caregiver says another.”

The study involved 19 patients recently diagnosed or re-diagnosed with grade 3 or 4 malignant gliomas — brain tumors — who completed a questionnaire about their quality of life, rating physical, emotional, functional and social well-being. Caregivers completed the same questionnaires.

The study found cancer patients suffering from malignant gliomas often rate their quality of life more optimistically than their caregivers do.

“A caregiver may help to give a more complete clinical picture,” lead author Daniel Jacobs said.

The study is scheduled to be presented June 6 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting.

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