When you hear the word “cancer,” the last thing any newly diagnosed patient wants to do is take extra time to decide on treatment. The tendency is for patients to spring into action, often following advice of the first oncologist they see without investigating treatment options or second opinions. However, this isn’t necessarily the best course of action. In fact, Steven Katz, M.D, from the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center leads a research team that studies treatment decision-making. His takeaway to date:
“I’m not talking about waiting months. I’m talking about an extra visit. Take time to discuss options with
your spouse. Get a second opinion if you’re not sure.”
Decisions after cancer diagnosis, in most cases, don’t need to be made as though it’s a medical emergency.
Lynn Dworzanin is a Cancer Center patient who faced some tough decisions. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she had many things on her mind, including her survival, family, body image, over treating her cancer and peace of mind in the future.
Many patients are so afraid for their lives that they don’t stop to think about other factors related to their cancer and cancer treatment. Read Lynn’s full story in Thrive for her reasons why understanding her options were so important. And, why she has zero regrets about her decision for a double mastectomy.
Take the next step:
- Check out another patient’s story about taking the steps that lead up to a medical decision.
- For more information, read the research papers about cancer and decision-making published by members of Cansort, the Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research
Thrive magazine is a quarterly publication of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, offering inspirational patient stories, news and information on programs and services, tips on coping and living with cancer and more. Find Thrive in the Cancer Center or online.
The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.