ANCHOR LEAD: EMERGING DATA SUGGEST MANY PEOPLE DON’T GET THE BEST CANCER TREATMENT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Many people with a cancer diagnosis aren’t even advised of the range of treatments available to them, federal data reveal, and may therefore not make the best decision regarding treatment. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says patients can take one simple step to assure themselves of getting enough information.
PARK: Get a second opinion and even a third opinion, and don’t be afraid of offending your doctor about wanting to see someone at a maybe bigger academic medical center or maybe a different place altogether. I think any oncologist worth his or her salt would actively encourage that, because there is varying opinions about how to treat different types of cancers, even in things where people might think its standard of care, that’s not necessarily the case. There are always different options on the horizon with most cancers that we treat, and so I always say get a second opinion, even a third opinion, it’s worth it, you’re talking about your life. :33
Park says most patients do have time to seek another opinion before starting treatment. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.