Science in Practice Articles

The Booklet Breast Cancer Patients Need and Deserve – Christopher Patrick

Aimed at the over 70s, this booklet is a font of knowledge which gives patients the tools and facts they need to come to the right decision about breast cancer treatment.

There is vast information available about breast cancer and its treatments online.  However, those over the age of 70, who may not be as familiar with using the internet, may be unable to access it. Information could be gained through their doctor, but a consultation or two is not enough time to take in enough information to choose between treatments.

The experiences, opinions and outcomes from thousands of ladies over 70 have been used to create this information booklet. One of the items in a booklet is an option grid. This clearly compares one treatment against the next showing what they entail. There are frequently asked questions that patients have asked their doctors about breast cancer treatment in the past. It also includes information patients wished they had known before opting for a particular treatment.

I spoke with one of the members of the development team, a psychologist. She stated that after speaking to patients who had already undergone treatment, they wished they had had access to this booklet as they were not aware of certain aspects of their treatment until it had happened.

It is vital that patients have a say in their treatment, and sufficient information must be provided in a suitable and comprehensive way.  In improving patients’ awareness and expectations of the treatments for breast cancer, this booklet is a good tool to do just that.


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