Cancer trials can lack clear information on biopsies | Reuters

oralcancerfoundation.org

Another in a series of articles on unnecessary tests, poor communications on the nature of risks and benefits, and the optimism bias, this time on biopsies. Just another reminder of the need for patients to be ‘armed’ with questions to ensure a fullsome discussion. Quote:

The new findings show more than five percent of biopsies in such trials may result in complications, but that informed consent documents spend less time explaining those risks than they do for simple blood draws, which are much less invasive.

“Most of these procedures don’t have any therapeutic value for patients, they are burdensome, they’re painful and they carry risk,” said Jonathan Kimmelman, from the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

“Before you do a procedure like that on patients, you really want to have their adequate informed consent,” Kimmelman, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told Reuters Health.

“The only reason (patients) should submit to them is to contribute to science in some way,” and not with the hope the biopsies will help them get better, he said.

Cancer trials can lack clear information on biopsies | Reuters.

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