“Patients’ desire for more information
Few statistics exist to estimate what percentage of cancer patients will experience treatment side effects. However, according to a new paper that appears in the Journal of Oncology Practice, close to one-third of patients feel that more information is necessary on the possible side effects of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.
“The findings revealed that many of the participants felt as though they did not know enough about their side effects.These people tended to be those who experienced severe side effects, who were significantly less likely to feel informed that those who reported minimal side effects.
“Just over half of the respondents asked their primary care physician (PCP) about the various choices.
Nine in 10 of these individuals said that the PCP’s advice was very or somewhat important in their decision-making.
In fact, about one-quarter of the patients used only their PCP for advice and information. Others sought guidance from medical websites, other patients, and support groups, along with relatives and friends.
Although some experiences were as expected, Dr. Shaverdian believes that “more in-depth patient counseling on these side effects could help us better prepare our patients for changes to their quality of life.”