When Treating Cancer Is Not an Option – NYTimes.com

Further to the study showing that many patients did not understand that chemo could not ‘cure’ them in cases of advanced terminal cancer (Why Do People With Advanced Cancer Undergo Chemotherapy?), some practical suggestions on how to improve patient-doctor communications. I particularly like the ‘replay’ idea, and have found that helpful in my case. Quote:

What can make a huge difference, Dr. [Thomas J.] Smith said, is how and how often doctors discuss options with patients and describe the potential of continued treatment. He and Dr. Longo suggested that practitioners master “the conversation known as ‘ask, tell, ask,’ which consists of asking patients what they want to know about their prognosis, telling them what they want to know, and then asking, ‘What do you now understand about your situation?’”

Among the questions Dr. Smith said doctors should be asking are, “How much do you want to know about your cancer? What do you know about your cancer? Who would you like to include in discussions about your care? Would you like me to write down the important points? What is important to you? What are you hoping for? Who are your other doctors so that I can communicate with them?”

When Treating Cancer Is Not an Option – NYTimes.com.


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