Saturday, September 16, 2017

Your Decision, Not Your Doctor's

In years gone by, doctors were regarded as gods. They knew all, were not to be questioned and patients should obey unquestioningly. Those days are gone. Patients are empowered. They learn about their conditions, they question their doctors, and they make their own decisions. They may rely on their doctor's advice but clearly make their decisions.

However, a recent study (because we always need more damn studies) found that doctor preferences for surgery type greatly influenced patient choice in early stage breast cancer surgery.

"Researchers surveyed more than 3,300 women with early stage breast cancer and 349 surgeons who treated them. About 16 percent of the patients had both breasts removed.

Only 4 percent of those whose surgeons heavily favored breast-saving surgery and were most reluctant to remove both breasts had the procedure. That compared to 34 percent of patients whose surgeons were most willing to do the surgery, the study found.

"That difference is huge. Even for a procedure that is very patient-driven, we see that surgeons account for a lot of the variability in the community and those surgeon attitudes really matter in terms of whether a patient does or does not get CPM," said study senior author and professor of medicine Dr. Steven Katz in a University of Michigan news release."


If the reasons given for a bilateral mastectomy are given as "patient peace of mind, avoiding conflict and improved cosmetic outcome", then why are the results so skewed to the surgeon's preferences?

Again, its your body and your decision and not your doctor's

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