Patient navigation pathway and barriers to treatment seeking in cancer in India: A qualitative inquiry

Sanghamitra Pati, Mohammad Akhtar Hussain, Abhimanyu Singh Chauhan, Diptimayee Mallick, Sukdev Nayak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer may curb the growing burden of the disease. Understanding cancer patients' navigation pathways for seeking treatment is important in order to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. With this background we conducted a hospital-based cross-sectional study comprising 68 randomly selected cancer inpatients in a tertiary cancer specialty hospital in Odisha, India, to explore the treatment-seeking pathways of the cancer patients and the barriers and enablers in seeking treatment. Financial constraint is one of the major reasons for the delay in accessing treatment, even when patients are suspected of or diagnosed with cancer. Low awareness of the presenting signs and symptoms of cancer and limited knowledge of the availability of cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities are major factors contributing to delay. Family and friends' support is found to be the major enabling factor toward seeking treatment. Generation of awareness of cancer among the general population and primary-care practitioners - including those in alternative systems of medicine - is important. Information on diagnostic and treatment services appears to be a felt need.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-978
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

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