How Decision-Making Habits Influence the Breast Cancer Treatments Women Consider


“A new study finds that more than half of women with early stage breast cancer considered an aggressive type of surgery to remove both breasts. The way women generally approach big decisions, combined with their values, impacts what breast cancer treatment they consider, the study also found.

“Contralateral prophylactic  – a procedure to remove both breasts when  occurs in only one breast – has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more than 20 percent of  opting for it. For most women, removing the unaffected breast does not improve survival.”

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Survey Shows Less Than Half of Men With Prostate Cancer Are Referred to an Oncologist

“A new prostate cancer survey revealed that only 41 percent of men with prostate cancer were referred to an oncologist at some point during their prostate cancer journey. The survey, released by ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, is the organization’s first patient education survey, with the goal of better understanding the experiences of those affected by prostate cancer and learning about their educational needs.”

Shared Decision Making Improves Patient Satisfaction During Radiation Therapy

“Taking an active role in their radiation treatment decisions leaves cancer patients feeling more satisfied with their care, and may even relieve psychological distress around the experience, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report in the journal Cancer.

“In a study of 305 patients undergoing radiation treatment, Neha Vapiwala, MD, an associate professor in the department in Radiation Oncology at Penn Medicine, and colleagues at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center found an association between patient satisfaction and patient-perceived control and shared decision making (SDM)—the process that allows patients and providers to make health care decisions together, taking into account scientific evidence as well as the patient’s values and preferences.”

Reliable Pretreatment Information Assists Prostate Cancer Patients in Decision-Making

“Men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer need to assimilate information rapidly in order to weigh the treatment options and make informed decisions. Although patients consult a variety of information sources, outcome information that is specific to the treating physician leads to greater patient satisfaction following treatment, according to a new study published in The Journal of Urology.

“The benefits of patient information are broad. For many people confronted with a cancer diagnosis, information translates to greater involvement in management decisions, improved ability to cope, reduced anxiety and distress, better communication with family members, and increased satisfaction with treatment choices.”

Nomogram Aims to Enable Informed Decision-Making and Personalized Treatment for Prostate Cancer

“Studies have found that prostate cancer is overdiagnosed in up to 42 percent of cases, prompting men to receive unnecessary treatment that can cause devastating side effects, including impotence and incontinenceNow, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington have developed a personalized tool that can predict the likelihood of prostate cancer overdiagnosis. They announced their findings in the online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”

Tools Affect Prostate Cancer Screening Decisions, Not Rates

“Both Internet and print-based decision aids equally helped men make important decisions related to prostate cancer screening. Both of the aids resulted in men who were better educated about screening options up to 13 months later. The results of this education study are published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study showed that the screening education tool did not affect actual screening rates.”

More Evidence Not All Prostate Cancers Need Treatment

“In a study of older men who had died from causes other than prostate cancer, almost half were found to have prostate tumors. And up to half of those tumors detected on autopsy would have qualified for treatment had doctors known about them while the men lived, though none had been the cause of death. That suggests the criteria for treatment “might be worth reexamining,” according to the study authors, and adds to a growing body of evidence that a wait-and-see approach might be better than treatment for many prostate cancers.”

Five-Year Downstream Outcomes Following Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening in Older Men

“Performance of prostate biopsy is uncommon in older men with abnormal screening PSA levels and decreases with advancing age and worsening comorbidity. However, once cancer is detected on biopsy, most men undergo immediate treatment regardless of advancing age, worsening comorbidity, or low-risk cancer. Understanding downstream outcomes in clinical practice should better inform individualized decisions among older men considering PSA screening…”

Comparative Effectiveness Review: Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) Testing For the Diagnosis and Management of Prostate Cancer

PURPOSE: Compare the effectiveness of PCA3 and select comparators for improving initial or repeat biopsy decision-making in men at risk of prostate cancer, or treatment choices in men with prostate cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MEDLINE®, EMBASE®, Cochrane Database and grey literature were searched from January 1990 through May 2012. Included studies were matched, and measured PCA3 and comparator(s) within a cohort..”