Cancer Manag Res. 2021 Apr 23;13:3529-3537. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S300063. eCollection 2021.
PURPOSE: Cancer patients with bone metastasis (BM) from solid tumors or multiple myeloma (MM) have an increased risk of painful skeletal-related events (SREs), which can decrease quality of life and increase mortality. Bone targeting agents (BTAs) can help delay or prevent SREs; however, a significant portion of eligible patients are not receiving BTA therapy. This study was conducted to understand patient awareness of cancer-related bone health and to identify opportunities to improve bone health education in cancer patients at risk of SREs.
METHODS: The online BonE heAlth eduCatiOn Needs assessment (BEACON) survey included questions about patient demographics, cancer diagnosis and treatments (including BTA usage), and extent and satisfaction with bone health education received. Direct-to-patient outreach was used to recruit patients. Eligible patients were US adults with a diagnosis of self-reported MM or BM from a solid tumor (breast, lung, or prostate cancer) within the past three years.
RESULTS: Of 125 patients, 71% were diagnosed with solid tumors with BM and 29% with MM. At least one prior SRE was experienced by 57% of patients (38% radiation to bone, 32% bone fracture, 22% spinal cord compression, and 19% surgery to bone), and 74% were currently receiving BTA therapy. Awareness of cancer bone health, protection strategies, and screening tests was low to moderate; patients were least informed of the impact of lifestyle changes (38%) and specific cancer treatments (≤35%) on bone health. Sixty-two percent of patients were not completely satisfied with the bone health education received. Patients generally wanted more information (58%) and to receive information by more than one mode of communication.
CONCLUSION: Notable gaps in bone health education were observed in cancer patients at risk for SREs indicating an important need for improved communication and education strategies to promote better health outcomes.