Thyroid No Surgery 101: Don’t Let The Surgeon’s Use of the Word “CANCER” Scare You into Surgery When Surgery is Unnecessary.
- People more likely to want unnecessary surgery if word ‘cancer’ was used.
- People were three times more likely to want unnecessary surgery when a condition was labelled as “cancer.”
When papillary thyroid cancer with a very low recurrence rate is called cancer the patient is more likely to have excessive total thyroid removal surgery and less likely to consider a lobectomy or active surveillance.4. Disease label plays a role in patient preference independent of treatment risks or prognosis.In 1068 predominantly healthy respondents (605 women and 463 men) with a median age of 35 years (range, 18-78 years), the cancer disease label played a considerable role in respondent decision making independent of treatment offered and risk of progression or recurrence.5. Raising the threshold for biopsy or removing the word cancer from the disease label may mitigate patient preference for aggressive treatment of low-risk lesions.6.Physicians should emphasize treatment risks and benefits and natural disease history when supporting treatment decisions for potentially innocuous epithelial malignant neoplasms.7. Micro papillary cancers also can be ablated with either ethanol or radiofrequency ablation methods.JAMA Oncol. Published online March 21, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.0054