The need for honest communication
A cancer sufferer’s ability to benefit from these different treatment routes will depend on a variety of factors, including: the type of cancer she has and how advanced it is, as well as her age and overall health.
Having so many different options means it’s critical that people with cancer and their caregivers fully understand the variety of individual factors involved in a treatment decision—including how effective a particular therapy is likely to be.
“If patients do not know whether a treatment offers a realistic possibility of cure, their ability to make informed treatment decisions that are consistent with their preferences may be compromised,” says lead study author, Jane Weeks, M.D., in a press release, “This misunderstanding may pose obstacles to optimal end-of-life planning.”
It’s important for people with cancer, caregivers and doctors to engage in honest, open discussions regarding personal preferences and care goals before starting any type of treatment plan.
For more information on how to have these kinds of conversations, and why they are important, see: