Although cancer cervix at early stages are curable, a significant amount of women refuse conventional treatment in spite of discussions with the patient and the caregivers. This study is to identify the reasons for denying the treatment.
Patients with a diagnosis of carcinoma cervix and stage less than stage II, who refused standard treatment during April 2011 and March 2012 were included in the study. A semi structured Questionnaire were given to 63 patients who were fitting into the criteria and was analysed.
Majority of the patients (n=48, 76.2%) had only one factor as the reason for refusal and 15 patients(23.8%) had more than one factor as their refusal. Fear of side Effects was the major reason identified for refusal of treatment. 30 patients (47.6%) quoted fear of side effects, 15(23.8%) wanted an alternate treatment,14(22.2%) refused due to inadequate knowledge about the treatment and the disease, 13(20.6%) said their relatives had a similar treatment and they had died, when enquiring their relatives had a higher stage of the disease and also cancer of a different site which carries poor prognosis. seven patients(11.1%) did not take treatment because of the possibility of recurrence and 3(4.8%) gave reasons as spirituality will help.
Women opted for different treatment or no treatment despite physicians warnings that it could cost their lives. Their decision is due to fear of cancer, treatment side effects, experience of different patients, misinformation and also having fixed ideas about the disease. Creating awareness in the public and having a caring and compassionate approach to these patients would make them take correct choices.