People overestimate benefits of cancer, other prevention aids: study
Several hundred patients were asked about the benefits of various cancer screenings and were surprised by how small the benefits actually were, according to findings that appeared in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who communicate health information often don't detail how much a given test or drug can help, but only say that people ought to have it, said Annette O'Connor at the University of Ottawa, who wasn't a part of the study.
I think it's led to more people taking part in screening or availing themselves of preventive medication than would have been the case if they were presented the information in more meaningful terms, said lead author Ben Hudson, a professor at the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand.
I would also be concerned that it's led to people having over-heightened expectations of what these things can achieve, and that may lead to disappointment when the inevitable breast cancer happens despite screening.
To get a broader sense of patients' expectations, Hudson and his colleagues asked 354 people about the benefits of breast cancer screening with mammograms, bowel cancer screening with stool testing, taking antihypertension medication and taking bone-strengthening medication.
Specifically, participants were asked to imagine scenarios in which 5,000 people between the ages
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