The Washington Post recently reported on a study done by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In this article, it states that often times cancer centers use emotions to get to their patients, rather than giving them the facts they need to face the reality of their illness. Using the success and survival stories of patients in 85% of ads put out by these cancer centers.
This is not to say the giving patients hope that they will pull through is a bad thing, but there needs to be a balance of hope and facts. Just because a treatment worked for one person, does not mean it will work for everyone, especially because some cancers are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in time for treatment to make a difference. There is certain information that a patient needs to know when going into a treatment center: quality of life; risk; experience; and most importantly, the different treatment options offered.
While some of the cancer treatment centers listed in the study are "top-notch", they push more toward tugging at the heart strings of their patients, rather than the facts. Just because a treatment center chooses to focus on the positive in their ads, patients should still be asking the right questions, about quality of life, effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis and survival rates. As a patient you need to be told that there is a certain percentage that something may not work; what to expect during and after treatment, rather than just hear the success rates and stories.
We have represented clients who have been misdiagnosed or never told they had cancer because of doctor's communication mistakes. These kinds of medical malpractice cases were the basis for a short guide on avoiding malpractice -- 7 Symptoms of Medical Malpractice: How Every Patient Can Recognize, Stop and Avoid Medical Mistakes. If you would like to get a copy of our free guide, contact us and we will gladly send you a copy.