Moving targets and the interpretation of “new” medical “knowledge”

In this week’s New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), there is an interesting article entitled, “Contingent knowledge and looping effects — a 66-year-old man with PSA-detected prostate cancer and regrets”. … READ MORE …

The forgotten element of health care is the “care” piece

A week ago we commented on a report about 40 percent of the American population believing that “alternative” forms of therapy could cure cancer. In this week’s issue of Modern Medicine there is an even more staggering set of information. … READ MORE …

Harris Poll shows that 40 percent of Americans think “alternative therapies alone can cure cancer”

The above headline comes from information released yesterday by the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). … READ MORE …

Participation in a patient support group increases prostate cancer patient knowledge

A newly published study from a group of German researchers examined the degree to which participation in patient support group activities increased prostate cancer patients’ health literacy and, specifically, their prostate cancer‐specific and non‐cancer‐specific knowledge about health care. … READ MORE …

A problem with cancer screening (at least in the USA)

According to a recent report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, only 5.6 percent of a sample of 3,677 Americans of 18 years of age or older could correctly evaluate four simple statements about cancer screening. … READ MORE …

Patients’ understanding of the risks and benefits of first-line treatment

A newly published article in BJU International has (finally) proven something many prostate cancer educators and advocates have known for years: many patients have a very poor appreciation of the risks and benefits of their differing treatment options at the time they make decisions about first-line treatment for localized prostate cancer. … READ MORE …

The human capacity for denial … or at the very least avoidance

Your sitemaster is intimately familiar with the human capacity for denial and avoidance. As someone who has spent much of his life writing for a living, he knows all too well his capacity for avoiding some topics until he absolutely has to deal with them! … READ MORE …

Satisfaction with “information provision” among Dutch prostate cancer patients

Sometimes — your sitemaster is willing to admit — he can become distinctly aggravated by the quality and conclusions of certain types of research related to the management of prostate cancer. … READ MORE …

The less you know, the harder the decisions about treatment …

In one more of those utterly unsurprising research findings, a study of newly diagnosed patients has shown that poor patient knowledge about the nature of prostate cancer is associated with “decisional conflict” leading to stress and anxiety given the uncertainty associated with the relative “value” of the many possible management options. … READ MORE …

Decision aids, PSA-based screening, and male decision-making

According to a newly published study in JAMA Internal Medicine, web-based and print-based decision aids do help men to resolve their own internal conflicts about whether or not to get PSA tests for risk of prostate cancer … READ MORE …

Prostate cancer web sites for the “reading challenged”

A new paper in the Journal of Urology has criticized most prostate cancer web sites written for patients because they are not written at an 8th or 9th grade reading skill level (a skill level considered to be available to most American males). … READ MORE …

Cancer screening and “informed” patient decision making

What people know at the time they make decisions about having tests for risk of specific cancers is important if they are to be able to make truly informed decisions about the value of these tests. That becomes even more important when we consider the pros and cons of annual, mass, population-based cancer screening tests. … READ MORE …

What primary care docs know (and do) about prostate cancer testing

There are no recent guidelines regarding the use of PSA tests and digital rectal exams as tests for risk of prostate cancer issued by any of the national organizations representing primary care physicians. However, a new report has provided data about the current behaviors of members of the primary care community at one academic medical center. … READ MORE …

How preconceptions impact prostate cancer management

As Leah wrote in a comment on this blog just the other day, “Yes, the ‘D-word’ is still taboo. Death is UNAMERICAN.” The comment stimulated the thought that our preconceptions have significant impact on how we think about risk, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer — and yet there is really very little good research on this topic. … READ MORE …

Are educated prostate cancer patients too smart for their own good?

A fascinating paper has just been published in BJU International suggesting that, “Higher education, income and functional capacity were associated with” poorer knowledge about their cancer, poorer understanding about treatment choices, and poorer judgement about survival with and without treatment among a group of 184 patients recently diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. … READ MORE …