Effects of Patient-Physician Relationships on Breast Cancer Survivorship



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Breast cancer refers to a group of diseases that affect breast tissue, typically resulting from an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. Though men and women can get breast cancer, it continues to be the second leading cause of death for women. The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer pose threats to psychosocial issues that impact the quality-of-life responses of women. Prior research indicates that effective patient-physician relationships can improve patient healthrelated quality of life, decision-making, treatment adherence, and survivorship outcomes. Furthermore, understanding barriers to physician trust in non-culturally congruent patients can reveal potential interventions to improve health equity and survivorship outcomes across all demographics. These barriers can include access to treatment, loss of patient autonomy, and communication and language differences. Implementing effective health communication and multidisciplinary care, including social workers, primary physicians, and psychologists (in addition to primary oncologists), can pose a solution to combat patient struggles. This thesis analyzes several frameworks for improving health communication and patient-physician relationships in breast cancer oncology, as well as real-world examples of said practices as presented by a panel of physician-interviewees from the field.



This paper examines =non-culturally or linguistically congruent patient-physician relationships through the lens of Social Support Theory.

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