Oncologists who tell patients with incurable breast cancer life expectancy are mistaken in 80% of cases. This was shown by a study by scientists from the University of Sydney, led by Dr. Belinda Kyle.
See also: How to correctly accept the diagnosis of cancer
That is why she offers the attending physicians to give not definitive forecasts, but be sure to set the time frame. In other words, patients should find out how much they will have to live with the prognosis for the best and worst case scenario. Keely stresses that most patients learning about an incurable disease really want to know how much they have left.
Why is it important for patients to know about a fatal diagnosis?
This information is necessary in order to understand when they should leave work, to sell a house or attend a wedding of a loved one, and also to prioritize life in a different way. But the accuracy of current forecasts of general practitioners on this issue is from 20% to 30%.
In 80% of cases, doctors make mistakes in forecasts
After patients hear about the absence of any hope, they are usually interested in how much is left for them. And here the doctors rely on their own method of forecasting, which, as it turned out, constantly fails. That is why researchers recommend stretching the expected duration of treatment from the worst-case scenario to the best.
What is the situation in Ukraine?
Note that in Ukraine it is generally not accepted to report terminally ill patients a fatal diagnosis. Such patients, as a rule, are lied about what is going on in their body. In the West, and especially in the UK and the USA, the code of medical ethics requires that adult patients and even children be told this news.
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