Prostate Cancer Advance Could Improve Treatment Options

“Researchers have made an important advance in understanding genetic changes associated with terminal prostate cancer. The research highlights why relapses could happen in some men following hormone therapy. And it could help identify those patients that will develop fatal prostate cancer much earlier for life-extending therapy.”


Most Cancer Physicians Would Choose Hospice for Themselves

In a survey of almost 4,500 physicians who treat cancer patients, the majority said that they would enroll in hospice if they themselves had terminal cancer. This was especially true for women, primary care physicians, those with more patients in managed care, and those treating more terminally ill patients. Physicians who expressed a higher preference for hospice for themselves were also more likely to discuss hospice care with their patients early on in treatment, suggesting that personal preferences regarding hospice can influence patient care. The survey’s authors therefore suggest that physicians with negative views of hospice for themselves should consider further educating themselves about how hospice may benefit their patients.


Most Cancer Physicians Would Choose Hospice for Themselves

In a survey of almost 4,500 physicians who treat cancer patients, the majority said that they would enroll in hospice if they themselves had terminal cancer. This was especially true for women, primary care physicians, those with more patients in managed care, and those treating more terminally ill patients. Physicians who expressed a higher preference for hospice for themselves were also more likely to discuss hospice care with their patients early on in treatment, suggesting that personal preferences regarding hospice can influence patient care. The survey’s authors therefore suggest that physicians with negative views of hospice for themselves should consider further educating themselves about how hospice may benefit their patients.


Most Cancer Physicians Would Choose Hospice for Themselves

In a survey of almost 4,500 physicians who treat cancer patients, the majority said that they would enroll in hospice if they themselves had terminal cancer. This was especially true for women, primary care physicians, those with more patients in managed care, and those treating more terminally ill patients. Physicians who expressed a higher preference for hospice for themselves were also more likely to discuss hospice care with their patients early on in treatment, suggesting that personal preferences regarding hospice can influence patient care. The survey’s authors therefore suggest that physicians with negative views of hospice for themselves should consider further educating themselves about how hospice may benefit their patients.


More Americans Support Prolonging Patients’ Lives by Any Means Possible

More Americans today support prolonging patients’ lives as much as possible no matter what, a survey showed. Thirty-one percent of those polled agreed with the statement “in all circumstances, doctors and nurses should do everything possible to save the life of a patient,” up from 15% in 1990 and 22% in 2005. Significantly fewer people are undecided on the issue (3%, down from 12% in 1990). The number of people agreeing with the alternate statement, “sometimes there are circumstances where a patient should be allowed to die,” dropped only slightly (from 73% in 1990 to 66% in 2013). For themselves, 35% would want providers to do “everything possible,” even if they had an incurable disease and were in severe pain. However, 78% would let a close relative decide whether to continue treatment for patients unable to communicate their wishes.


More Americans Support Prolonging Patients’ Lives by Any Means Possible

More Americans today support prolonging patients’ lives as much as possible no matter what, a survey showed. Thirty-one percent of those polled agreed with the statement “in all circumstances, doctors and nurses should do everything possible to save the life of a patient,” up from 15% in 1990 and 22% in 2005. Significantly fewer people are undecided on the issue (3%, down from 12% in 1990). The number of people agreeing with the alternate statement, “sometimes there are circumstances where a patient should be allowed to die,” dropped only slightly (from 73% in 1990 to 66% in 2013). For themselves, 35% would want providers to do “everything possible,” even if they had an incurable disease and were in severe pain. However, 78% would let a close relative decide whether to continue treatment for patients unable to communicate their wishes.


More Americans Support Prolonging Patients’ Lives by Any Means Possible

More Americans today support prolonging patients’ lives as much as possible no matter what, a survey showed. Thirty-one percent of those polled agreed with the statement “in all circumstances, doctors and nurses should do everything possible to save the life of a patient,” up from 15% in 1990 and 22% in 2005. Significantly fewer people are undecided on the issue (3%, down from 12% in 1990). The number of people agreeing with the alternate statement, “sometimes there are circumstances where a patient should be allowed to die,” dropped only slightly (from 73% in 1990 to 66% in 2013). For themselves, 35% would want providers to do “everything possible,” even if they had an incurable disease and were in severe pain. However, 78% would let a close relative decide whether to continue treatment for patients unable to communicate their wishes.


Doctors Should Discuss Treatment Expenses with Patients

A recent editorial argues that doctors should talk about the issue of cost when discussing treatment options with patients. High out-of-pocket treatment expenses can cause severe financial hardship that may affect patients’ well-being. A study showed that over 60% of patients want to discuss treatment cost with their doctors, yet only 15% do so. Even though patients frequently want to choose the best treatment regardless of expense, sometimes there are viable lower-cost alternatives. Moreover, some patients may indeed be willing to trade potential medical benefits for less financial distress. Finally, even if patients do not change their treatment choices, discussing treatment costs can help them prepare financially for expensive procedures and learn about options for dealing with medical debt.


U.S. Government Report Outlines Serious Future Challenges in Cancer Care

A report by a U.S. government panel of experts warns of upcoming profound challenges in cancer care. The aging population means the number of cancer cases is growing and there may not be enough oncologists (cancer specialists) to care for all of them. While research has yielded new insights and produced innovative cancer treatments, better strategies are needed to ensure doctors can keep up with the many complex new medications. Medical professionals also need to develop easy-to-understand ways to communicate information to cancer patients, who are still often misinformed about their illness and treatment options. The report includes a list of questions patients should ask to ensure that they make informed choices about their care.