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Paoli-Calmettes Institute Helps Cancer Patients Better Understand Treatment Risks

July 13, 2012

The Paoli-Calmettes Institute (IPC), France and IBM Research in Ireland are collaborating on a study that will demonstrate the effects of how oncologists, integrating visual information into their consultations, assist in communicating the diagnostic and treatment risks to cancer patients.

Communicating cancer risk information is a growing area of oncology and the process is a challenging one for both healthcare professionals and patients. Patients may have difficulties understanding complex risk calculations and probabilities for cancer treatments and diagnosis. Clinicians may find it difficult to translate risk statistics to individual patients and use only verbal communications to explain complex information.

“There are many challenges to communicating medical risks for individualized cancer treatments. It requires specialist knowledge and understanding in order to inform patients about cancer risk, to change risk related behaviors, or to reassure people with excessive risk related anxieties”, says Professor François Eisinger, IPC. “This research study aims to significantly deepen our clinical knowledge and practice about risk communications, while helping patients to better understand their diagnosis and treatments.”

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