French general practitioners’ attitude towards breast cancer in older women: A qualitative study

Breast cancer (BC) is the most common malignant tumour in older women and its incidence is growing yet systematic screening is not recommended beyond 75 years. This study aimed to explore GPs’ experience, to understand the factors which shape their care of older women with BC and to identify ways in which this care might be improved. They found that GPs had diverse attitudes caused by (1) the GPs’ professional values (their overall knowledge of the patient’s context and wishes); (2) the impact of comorbidities; (3) the GPs’ own experiences (emotional ties established with the patient); (4) prejudicial connotations (therapies judged as being too aggressive). Furthermore, GPs expressed an interest in training for coordinated multidisciplinary organisation with oncologists and geriatricians. In doing so, GPs hoped to improve their relationships with geriatricians and oncologists in order better care for their older breast cancer patients, as well as to participate in therapeutic decisions and ensure the continuity of care.

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