Patients Play an Important Role in Cancer Treatment

Dr. Sara Hurvitz

While it is the responsibility of the clinician to inform their patients of all options available, it is, in turn, vital for them to play a role in selecting the cancer treatment that’s right for them, according to Dr. Sara Hurvitz.

In an interview with CURE, Hurvitz, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, explained how doctors may educate and recommend various treatment options, but ultimately, patients are the ones who need to weigh their options and decide on the best course of therapy.

In my opinion, it’s imperative and ethical to have patients play a role in all of the treatment decisions. These are the people who are going to be assuming all of the toxicity and side effects – and the benefits, frankly – of a given therapy.

We as clinicians, it’s my opinion, that we need to educate our patients and empower them to help them make a decision. It’s certainly our responsibility as clinicians to make a recommendation for the treatment that has the best therapeutic index, meaning highest efficacy and lowest toxicity. But ultimately, the patient is the one that needs to buy in and decide which therapy they would like to proceed with.
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