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Dr Amy Davidoff Examines Factors Influencing Patient Treatment Decisions in Cancer Care

For individuals who have not made the sort of risk-averse decisions in their lives that lead to better jobs and wealth accumulation, making treatment decisions after a cancer diagnosis can be very difficult, said Amy Davidoff, PhD, MS, senior research scientist in public health at the Yale School of Public Health


For individuals who have not made the sort of risk-averse decisions in their lives that lead to better jobs and wealth accumulation, making treatment decisions after a cancer diagnosis can be very difficult, said Amy Davidoff, PhD, MS, senior research scientist in public health at the Yale School of Public Health

Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

How can providers help patients with cancer make treatment decisions?

People are making choices all throughout their lives. Some people are much more risk averse, they invest in their education, they have better jobs, they accumulate wealth and at the end of their life they are able to tap into those resources, they are able to understand therapeutic choices, they're able to use their resources to make choices that are best for them and their family. A lot of people though, have not made those kind of risk-averse choices over time and then all of a sudden they are faced with this decision—it's a very difficult one.

You have a lot of individuals, and I think this may be the root of a lot of disparities concerns: low-income individuals, oftentime minorities, have not had the opportunity to accumulate wealth throughout their lifetime. And so when it comes to end-of-life decision choose to not get therapy at all and you see that in the patterns of care that we observe and research.

And I think it's going to be a huge challenge as a society to not only correct those disparities in resources at the time a treatment choice is faced, but also think about ways to improve education and opportunities earlier on in life so we don't have these sort of disparities of position when you're faced with that end-of-life choice.

 
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