In 2014, more than two hundred cancer patients at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute of Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine were surveyed about the status of their cancer. 49% got it wrong, they couldn't accurately define the stages of their disease. A third didn't know if they were in remission or not.
This lack of understanding leads to poor decision making about treatment, according to the report. For oncology specialists, the study cites "this raises significant concerns regarding the informed consent process and our ability to provide care that truly aligns with patient preferences and goals of care."
Dr. Shanthi Sivendran is an oncologist at Lancaster General and co-author of the report. She says the shock of a cancer diagnosis often leads patients to tune out the details, telling a Penn Medicine News blog "You drop the word 'Cancer,' and the brain is fixated on that word. It doesn't matter, all the other things you're saying around it, oftentimes patients describe it as b