A friend sent me a really interesting news story the other day. The article said physical symptoms are highly prevalent in all types and at all stages of cancer, regardless of whether the patient is newly diagnosed, under active treatment, or in remission. Any patient, of course, knows this.
The article went on to say that oncologists focused on treating the cancer itself are often too busy to manage these symptoms. The researchers advocated a "telecare" approach, using a team of nurses and primary care physicians.
The study, published in the October 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, comes from a team led by Kurt Kroenke, MD, professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.
"Many individuals with cancer have a high symptom burden," Dr. Kroenke said in a statement. "But because oncologists are necessarily focused on treatment of the cancer itself, they often have insufficient time to optimally evaluate and manage symptoms and other factors affecting quality of life," he added.
If you're a cancer patient, or caregiver, have you found this to be true? Do oncologists focus too much on the clinical aspect of care and devote too little time to quality of life issues?
What would make things better for patients? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
(The full article can be found at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/730695?src=rss )
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