20% of women overwhelmed by cancer treatment options: study
Internal Medicine, don't mean that women should not be fully informed about their treatment options, researchers said, but rather that doctors may need to find new strategies to communicate with patients, especially the less educated. "Some women may feel overwhelmed or burdened by treatment choices, particularly if they are not also given the tools to understand and weigh the benefits and harms of these choices,"
wrote research leader Jennifer Livaudais and colleagues. Her team from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York surveyed 368 women who had just had surgery for early-stage breast cancer at one of eight New York City hospitals, and again six months later.
The majority said they typically had trouble understanding medical information and less than one-third knew the possible benefits of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Livaudais and her colleagues found.
Lack of both "health literacy" and knowledge about treatment benefits was common among the 21 percent of women who said they had too much responsibility for decision-making - as well as among the seven percent who felt they didn't have enough responsibility.
Women who were poor, non-white or didn't finish high school were also more likely to feel that they had either too much or too little say in
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