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What are your chances of living 2 years? Doctors, cancer patients, differ

Misunderstandings about prognosis between patients with advanced cancer and their doctors was common, in a study reported in JAMA Oncology, and the vast majority of patients didn’t know that their doctors held different opinions about how long they might live. “We’ve discovered two important things happening between oncologists and patients with advanced cancer,” said co-author Ronald M. Epstein, M.D., professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on doctor-patient communications. “First, some patients might know the doctor’s prognosis estimate but the patient chooses to disagree, often because they believe other sources,” Epstein said. “And second, some patients think that their doctor agrees with their opinion about prognosis but, in fact, the doctor doesn’t.” “When people think they’ll live a very long time with cancer despite evidence to the contrary, they may end up taking more aggressive chemotherapy and agreeing to be placed …

July 15, 2016 8:25 pm

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