Implementation of a web-based prostate cancer decision site.
Carcinoma of the prostate is the most common form of cancer in males in the United States, second only to skin cancer. Recently, there has been increased public awareness of cancer-related diseases and specifically prostate cancer. As a result, more individuals are routinely screened and diagnosed with prostate cancer. When a man first discovers he has prostate cancer, he is faced with a multitude of questions. Health care providers realize in counseling patients that there is no single treatment choice best suited for every patient. Because of multiple treatment choices for prostate cancer and complex counseling needs due to a varied side effect profiles of the different options, the Internet may be an ideal tool to extend the health care provider. Furthermore, because men may be reluctant to discuss issues with the health care provider directly, the anonymity of the Internet may be of particular value in the disease. The Internet has created a massive body of information with an estimated 320 million Web sites. The provider can use the Internet as a patient educational tool thus affording the patient time to absorb sometimes complicated information. The Internet can help patients focus on specific aspects of their disease making the patient-provider encounter more productive and allow the patient to take an active role in the treatment decision-making process. More knowledgeable patients can make better decisions about treatment options and have more realistic expectations of their outcomes. We have developed an Internet-based decision for prostate cancer available to both patients and physicians.
Moul, JW; Esther, TA; Bauer, JJ
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