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Patient reported burden associated with pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma diagnosis.

Pheochromocytoma and paragangliomas (PPGLs) originate from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla or neural crest progenitors outside the adrenal gland, respectively. The estimated annual incidence of PPGL is between 2.0-8.0/million adults. Minimal data exist on the impact of PPGL from the patient perspective. Therefore, a survey was adapted from a previously published study on gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors to explore the voice of patients with PPGL and learn ways to improved clinical care while understanding the current gaps to direct future research. A self-reported online survey was available to patients with PPGL and those with genetic predisposition even without PPGL from June-July 2022. Survey questions captured sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, the diagnostic workup, treatment and monitoring, quality and access to care, and financial impact. Here, we report the most relevant findings on patient experience of disease burden following diagnosis. A total of 270 people responded, the majority of which were from the United States (79%), Caucasian (88%), and female (81%). The results of this survey highlight the burden of disease on a patient's daily life, resulting in moderate to severe financial distress, increased travel time to specialized facilities resulting in loss of work and wages, and significant delays in care. Respondents reported being unheard and unacknowledged. With a median time to diagnosis just over two years, the physical, mental, and emotional toll are substantial. Increasing access to PPGL specialists and centers could lead to faster diagnoses and better management, which may reduce the burden on both patients and healthcare centers.

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