Survey: Many with terminal cancer misunderstand palliative radiation

06/27/2013 | Reuters

A survey of 384 patients with terminal lung cancer found 64% did not understand that radiation likely would not cure their disease and was intended only to ease symptoms, according to a report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston found that 78% of respondents said radiation was very likely or somewhat likely to improve their survival. Experts said the misunderstanding could influence patients' decisions about whether to continue difficult treatments.

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