Did They Say??? - Getting Clear Information on Your Diagnosis
this study 45 percent of women with breast cancer said they
were unclear about what they had been told when they received
women come out of the doctor's office after a breast cancer diagnosis
with incomplete or totally garbled information.
by scientists in Germany, reported in the Annals of Oncology,
suggests this means that doctors need to improve their communication
alternative is that the shock of the breast cancer diagnosis causes
such stress that nothing else registers.
this study 45 percent of women with breast cancer said they were
unclear about what they had been told when they received their diagnosis.
Close to 60 percent felt that they needed to speak to other medical
staff after the initial diagnosis.
Cancer Research Center, at Notre Dame University explains, "There
are a number of recent reports that suggest the communication between
patients with a cancer diagnosis and their treating physicians is
less than optimal.
Patients have an inadequate understanding of their diagnosis and
prognosis and an unrealistic perspective of the goals of treatment.
have an inability to evaluate their response to treatment and
a difficult time with end of life decisions.
Patients appear to make uninformed decisions, particularly in
the area of end of life care,
there is an overwhelming interest and support of complementary
and alternative medicine by the population in general and cancer
patients in particular."
study could not tease out the reason for the breakdown in communication.
Doctors freely admit that this type of communication is difficult
at best and anyone who has received a breast cancer diagnosis will
admit that after the first words, the rest is a blur.
vital finding is that women who have been told that they have breast
cancer were left with unanswered questions and many concerns that
had not been addressed. Most were unaware of support groups which
could have made treatment decisions easier and improved quality
of life during and after treatments breast cancer treatments.
What can you do to improve the communication between yourself and
the medical professionals you trust with your care?
someone with you who can give you support and take notes during
the consultation with your doctor.
breast cancer survivors report that bringing a tape recorder to
meetings with doctors made life much easier.
your doctor for a list - in writing - of the important information.
Go over it and write down any questions.
can't follow doctor's orders if you can't remember what they were.
Taking an active part in your own treatment is the best way to regain
the feeling of control that a cancer diagnosis takes away.
on the Web:
Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Questions To Ask The Doctor
My Side - Useful Tips
Updated April 21, 2017