Biased treatment advice on prostate cancer

Biased treatment advice on prostate cancer
From MedPage Today:

Men trying to decide how to have their localized prostate cancer treated may get incomplete or biased advice from both physicians and patient-education materials, a review of the literature suggested.

For example, urologists nearly universally indicate that surgery is the optimal treatment strategy, and radiation oncologists similarly indicate that radiation therapy is optimal, said Scott D. Ramsey, M.D., Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center here, and colleagues.

“Given the bias in treatment preference by specialty, it is likely there is discordance in which treatment options are provided to patients and the strength of individual recommendations associated with each option,” Dr. Ramsey and colleagues wrote in a study published online today by the journal Cancer.

There’s a real shortage of unbiased advice. Even if patients turn to their health plan for information there may be bias toward less expensive options.

March 28, 2006

2 thoughts on “Biased treatment advice on prostate cancer”

  1. Hi David,
    I saw a demo of a product, , at the HIMSS conference last month, which provides clinical decision support for patients who want to determine the best treatment option for their particular condition. Most clinical decision support systems are geared to the physician, but this one is actually designed for patients trying to sort out the various treatment options based on current evidence. I did not get a chance to try this tool for prostate cancer options, but it just might be useful.
    Mark Singh

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