Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BREAST CANCER: Is the doctor following care guidelines? Whose guidelines?

HUFFPOST  The Third Metric

Why Variability in Cancer Care Recommendations Means You Should Consider Second Opinions  Cary A. Presant, MD

Posted: Updated: 

You may want to read some of this.

What I came away with:

A twitter post from @bestdoctors led me to believe it's okay to ask your docs if they are deviating from guidelines and why.  Do I have the courage to ask that? Do you?

And in the post:  There are more instances than we might suspect when doctors deviate from guidelines.  In regard to the NCCN cancer centers: "More shocking was that some individual institutions had 60 percent to 80 percent noncompliance rates for decisions in breast cancer patients."

No mention of whether doctors were surveyed about why they deviated.  I know each person is different in many ways--but I don't want care that was proven ineffective.

The particular guidelines he mentioned may or may not be the best.  I don't know anything about the NCCN.   I'm still uneasy about who sets up guidelines if I've never heard of them before.

"American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will be using electronic records to identify successful approaches to medical care (CancerLinQ, with over 170,000 breast cancer patient records accumulated so far)."

I've been paying close attention to ASCO alerts and comments on medpage and wherever. What I don't have are enough women I can ask if they were satisfied with their care.

I wish you health.

1 comment:

CareAcross said...

Very valid question, Margaret.
It's one of those that should indeed be asked.

Also, guidelines get updated too (some more frequently than others). Therefore, it is not too much to ask whether the ones the oncologist is following have changed recently.

Wishing health back to you...