What is it about?

Patients with early stage lung cancer are increasingly facing decisions about which treatment to undergo. Patients in our study were extremely satisfied with all aspects of their care despite reporting little knowledge about risks or other treatment options, no direct elicitation of worries from providers, and a lack of shared decision making.

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Why is it important?

While surgical resection is recommended for most patients with early stage lung cancer according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is being increasingly utilized. Provider-patient communication regarding risks/benefits of each approach may be a modifiable factor leading to improved patient-centered outcomes.


This paper highlights the importance of patient-provider communication, especially in the realm of lung cancer. Since lung cancer screening has started, there will be more and more patients diagnosed with early stage lung cancer, making this type of research even more timely. We were pleased to find that most patients were satisfied with their care, despite not remembering much, but this does identify gaps in communication that could be helped by items like decision aids, or dedicated cancer navigators.

Sara E Golden
Portland VA Health Care System

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: “Even if I Don’t Remember, I Feel Better”. A Qualitative Study of Patients with Early-Stage Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer Undergoing Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy or Surgery, Annals of the American Thoracic Society, August 2016, American Thoracic Society, DOI: 10.1513/annalsats.201602-130oc.
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