Many Women Being Told of Breast Cancer in Phone Chat with Doctor, Study Finds

Many Women Being Told of Breast Cancer in Phone Chat with Doctor, Study Finds
For more than a decade now, women were more likely to learn they had breast cancer in a telephone conversation with a doctor rather than an office visit, research from the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine found. The trend favoring a cancer diagnosis delivered by phone dates to mid-2000s, and is evident both in the United States and  elsewhere, the study reported. But despite being increasingly common, especially for non-advanced cancers, "little attention" has been paid "to the mode of communicating bad news to patients," its authors said. "When we analyzed the data, I was completely surprised to find such a clear trend," Jane McElroy, PhD, professor of family and community medicine at the MU School of Medicine and the lead study author, said in a news release. "Historically, physicians have decided to use their best judgment when delivering a diagnosis, whether it's in person or over the phone." The study, “Breaking Bad News of a Breast Cancer Diagnosis over the Telephone: An Emerging Trend,” was published in Supportive Care in Cancer. In recent years, and depending on the physician, health care policy has evolved from a “doctor knows best” to a shared decision-making/patient-centered approach. Available literature suggests patients prefer to receive their diagnosis in
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