Cancer patients do not feel involved in treatment decisions

A recent survey of cancer patients across 10 countries, including the UK, has shown that almost half (47%) of patients diagnosed with cancer do not feel involved enough in decisions about their treatment.

In the UK the figure was even higher, with 52% of cancer patients not feeling involved in deciding which treatment options were best for them. 58% of UK respondents also said they did not receive enough support or information to deal with the symptoms or side effects of the cancer or treatment, with 50% reporting that psychological support during/after cancer treatment was not available. 48% of UK patients also responded that they did not get information (in a way they could understand) about how to check for the symptoms of recurrent, or worsening, cancer.

The report, published by the European Cancer Patient Population (ECPC), used patient responses from nearly 4000 people across 10 countries – Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA – between January to November 2018.

Alex Filicevas, Head of EU Affairs at the ECPC, said on the results: ‘Patients are often forgotten when it comes to cancer care planning. With the prevalence, complexity and costs of cancer rising across the globe, it is imperative to listen to what patients say would improve their experience of care. Ignoring the findings of this report would be a missed opportunity to do the right thing by patients and make changes that could make a real difference.’

In positive news for prostate cancer diagnosis, results show it topped the table of all other cancers in terms of early diagnosis – with 78% of cases diagnosed in less than a month.

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