Cancer patients may misunderstand goal of chemo | Reuters

cosmosmagazine.com

While from a small study, not surprising that people may not fully understand the goals and limits of chemo for incurable cancers, whether it is curative, non-curative but life prolonging, or palliative. Then when the optimism bias of patients is factored in, further misunderstanding emerges.

In my case, my initial consultation was not that clear, and gave me more optimism than warranted. However, the further along in treatment, the clearer the limits became, particularly so following relapse. Doctors and patients share the responsibility for good communications, and patients need to develop the habit to ask questions when things are not clear. Quote:

It’s not fully clear why that is, and there are probably various reasons. But experts think that less-than-ideal communication is one.

For patients, it’s important to ask questions – whatever medical condition you have, [Dr. Inga] Lennes noted.

“Ask for as much information as you want,” she advised. “And make sure you understand the risks and benefits of any treatment.”

Cancer patients may misunderstand goal of chemo | Reuters.

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