Cancer patients want more say in making cancer treatment decisions

Category: Cancer

Doctors are getting the point – the information that they provide their patients about their cancer prognosis is not only not helpful – but upsetting – here is a recent study.

Prognostic information is necessary for cancer patients to be fully informed about the likely course of their disease. This information is needed for practical planning and treatment decisions.

  • In recent research, doctors found that patients discussed the prognosis almost exclusively in terms of mortality and reported that their physicians and nurses mostly provided prognostic information in terms of months or years for survival.

This finding held across all cancer types and stages. Patients tend to think of prognosis information as being only estimated limited survival and find the idea upsetting.1

patient-upset-with-doctor[1]Read this from a recent study: “giving patients honest information may allow them and their caregivers to cope with illness better. In the Coping With Cancer study, patients who reported having end-of-life discussions had no higher rates of depression. . . Most people—90% in most recent surveys of patients with cancer—want to know their prognosis.”2

At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, patients help in making cancer treatment decisions. These decisions may include strengthening the healing abilities of both mind and body via a combination of nutritional therapies, meditation and lifestyle changes — including encouraging  patients to avoid nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and artificial chemicals.

Our cancer prevention, recovery and therapy program is one whose patient roster includes:

  • Cancer patients already undergoing conventional treatment by an oncologist or radiotherapist who wish to give themselves the added benefits of nutritional and immune-function support. These patients have reported reduced side effects and better therapeutic results while on our program.
  • Patients who have exhausted conventional therapies, and for whom our program offers an opportunity to improve the quality of life.
  • Patients who have completed traditional cancer treatment and wish to employ a preventative program designed to enhance their body’s defenses against a recurrence of the disease.
  • Individuals without immediate evidence of cancer but who may be at risk due to either a family history of cancer or exposure to environmental carcinogens.
  • Those wishing to generally reduce their likelihood of developing cancer.

New research: Doctors need to treat the whole patient

In new research from April 2016, doctors addressed the problems of multiple myeloma, a disease of the elderly, with about a third of patients at diagnosis older than 75 years of age.

The doctors wrote that the population of elderly patients is diverse: older patients are more likely to have comorbidities and frailties complicating both their initial diagnosis and subsequent management, but these are not consistent across the group.

  • Despite the survival of myeloma patients increasing following the introduction of novel agents, older patients continue to have worse outcomes with increased treatment-related toxicity.
  • Treatment tolerability is not defined by age alone, rather a combination of age, physical function, cognitive function, and comorbidities.
  • These factors all influence patients’ tolerability of treatment and therefore treatment efficacy and should also be considered

It is the nuances of determining how these factors interact that should influence initial treatment and ongoing management decisions.3

Cancer patients want more say in making cancer treatment decisions including nutritional advice

This should be obvious. In published research from the British Journal of Cancer, cancer patients under age 55 want more of a say in the decisions made about their treatment

The research also shows that ethnic minorities and patients with rectal, ovarian, multiple myeloma and bladder cancers are more likely to feel they aren’t being given a big enough say in how they are treated.

Researchers funded by the National Institute for Health Research at the University of Cambridge looked at more than 40,000 responses to the 2010 English National Cancer Patient Experience Survey. More than 70 per cent said they felt suitably involved in decisions about their treatment. But younger patients in particular responded to the survey saying that decisions are made without enough of their personal input.

Further in a recent report from the University of Texas, researchers found that the use of dietary supplements among patients affected by cancer is extensive, with an estimated 20-90 % of patients using these products. Their use of these products is often not shared with the treating physician. This is because patients perceive or believe that their physicians are indifferent or negative toward the use of dietary supplements

The use of dietary supplements among patients affected by cancer is extensive, with an estimated 20-90 % of patients using these products. Their use of these products is often not shared with the treating physician. This is because patients perceive or believe that their physicians are indifferent or negative toward the use of dietary supplements.

Do you have questions about cancer treatment decisions?


Call US  856-324-6033 OR email us at:  info@DrMagaziner.com


1. Cartwright LA, Dumenci L, Siminoff LA, Matsuyama RK. Cancer Patients’ Understanding of Prognostic Information. J Cancer Educ. 2014 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print]
2. http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/30/22/2715.long
3. Pawlyn C, Gay F, Larocca A, Roy V, Ailawadhi S. Nuances in the Management of Older People With Multiple Myeloma. Curr Hematol Malig Rep. 2016 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print] Review.