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Most women with cancer want a role in decisions

A woman visiting the doctor.
About two-thirds of women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer want to take part in making decisions about their treatment, according to a new survey of patients from five different countries.

Some of these women want complete control over making treatment choices while others want to share the decision with their doctor—yet only a minority of them actually get the level of involvement they are hoping for.

"Physicians should be trying to elicit patient preferences," said Richard Brown, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Brown's team asked 683 women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer what kind of role they would like to have in making decisions about their treatment: would they like to have total control, a shared role with their doctor, or have the doctor make the choices.

After the women met with their physicians, the researchers followed up to ask how their visit went and whether their preferences for how involved they would like to be in the future had changed.

Only 28 out of every 100 women initially wanted to delegate the decision to their doctor, but 46 out of every 100 reported that their doctor ended up making the decisio
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