Doctor/Patient Treatment Choice Needs to Be Informed, Researchers Say

Doctor/Patient Treatment Choice Needs to Be Informed, Researchers Say
prostateReceiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be frightening, and in order to better deal with the stress of the disease, there is a new trend for patients to be more involved in the choice of treatment. Despite the benefits from a discussion between patient and physician when it comes to therapeutic options, researchers from the Helsinki University Hospital noted that this collaboration requires understanding both treatments and personal situations. The idea that patients' thoughts and feelings are important for the choice of treatments, ranging from active surveillance to radiation or surgery, is becoming increasingly accepted by physicians, since curing cancer can be as important as improving quality of life to patients. It is difficult for physicians to make a prognosis about the exact location of prostate cancer, and upon treatment, there is the risk of incontinence and erectile dysfunction, which is why options need to be discussed between patients and doctors. However, the authors of the recent study comment that an informed discussion is only possible if the patient is aware of the implications of the treatments and if the physician knows the personal situation and needs of the patient. "Such truly shared decision-making is a relatively new phenomenon in medicine. Traditionally we assumed that the doctor always knows best," clin
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