In a recent report published on pharmaphorum, journalist Jenny Hone spoke with John A. Hartford Foundation Senior Program Officer Amy Berman, an author, blogger and patient advocate with Stage 4 breast cancer, about some of the obstacles involved with introducing patient preferences into cancer treatment strategies.
Berman says following her having been diagnosed with Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer, her lack of cancer care insights presented its share of complication.
“With cancer, the care is very complex, and the decisions are not just centered on the disease, but on the life you choose to live with that chronic condition,” Berman said.
Although implementing patient preferences in treatment decisions can prove difficult, Berman says clinicians can facilitate the efforts by asking patients about their values.
“There are, of course, personal and cultural differences to consider, but even if we know that certain personalities or cultures might be hesitant to talk about their diagnosis/prognosis or to have value-based discussions, the clinician’s job is to always invite patients to have the conversation,” she said.