Oncologists have joined eight other physician specialty organizations in the Choosing Wisely® campaign with a list of the Top Five Cancer-Related Tests, Procedures, and Treatments That Many Patients Do Not Need.
Choosing Wisely asked each of the specialist groups to come up with a list of five things doctors and patients should question in order to improve evidence-based care, avoid tests or treatments that don’t help, and reduce the burden of health care costs. Here are the Top Five lists from the other groups.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology built the Top Five List for Oncology, based on work that ASCO’s Cost of Care Task Force has been doing for several years to identify diagnostic tests or treatments that are commonly ordered, expensive, and of unproven value.
While the Top Five list is based on evidence for effective cancer care, its recommendations are not written in stone. They are guidelines for patients, families, and doctors to begin a conversation about tests and treatments and costs in order to make good decisions about the best care for each individual.
Briefly the Top Five list recommends
- Stop active cancer treatment when patients are too ill to benefit, aren’t eligible for a clinical trial, previous treatments haven’t worked, and there are no more standard treatment options.
- Don’t use advanced imaging tests (CT, PET, bone scans) for early prostate cancer which has a low risk of spreading.
- Don’t use similar imaging tests for early breast cancer that has a low risk of spreading.
- Don’t use PET, CT, bone scans or biomarkers to follow-up breast cancer patients without symptoms after treatment intended to cure them.
- Don’t give medicines to stimulate white cells in patients with a low risk of developing low counts with fever.
More specifically the Top Five for Oncology published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology April 3 are: Read the rest of this entry »