Cancer Prevention – Missed Opportunities or Empty Promises?

‘Informed decision-making: what citizens need to know’ is the title of a presentation given by Hazel Thornton at the Third European Forum for Evidence-based Prevention, 12 and 13th October, 2011, Krems, Austria, for which the focus was ‘Cancer Prevention – Missed Opportunities or Empty Promises?’.

This erudite presentation details the importance of information to patients, as well as to people invited to screening – who are often mis-named ‘patients’ even though they have not had a diagnosis. It also discusses disease measurement thresholds, disease definition and the increased medicalisation of citizens – and the differences between prevention, secondary prevention and early detection. There is a list of what citizens need to know in order to make informed decisions (shared decision-making) and the barriers to such decision-making which include the ‘problems and pitfalls of risk communication in a risk averse society’. The terms ‘benefit, harm and risk’ (often confused) are clearly explained, as is the use of Citzens’ Juries.

There are some eminently sensible proposals and suggestions to improve healthcare and the conclusion asks:
‘Should the main aim of Medicine be to care for the sick or to prevent us from dying? The inherent futility of the latter should be apparent! From every point of view –practical; philosophical; ethical (justice); economic –fair use of resources -I believe we should re-adjust our sights to create a more balanced approach to the provision of healthcare.’

European Forum for Evidence-Based Practice; EUFEP Congress 2011;
Click on Downloads, then choose from the list of speakers.

(Also well worth a read are presentations by Karsten Juhl Jorgensen and Sue Ziebland.)

Or go to:

This may also be of interest:
Salzburg statement on shared decision making. Salzburg Global Seminar: the greatest untapped resource in healthcare? Informing and involving patients in decisions about their medical care, 12-17 December 2010. BMJ 2011;342:d1745 and Gulland A. Wellcome to the century of the patient. BMJ 2011;342:d2057.


About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in anal cancer, Breast Cancer, Campaigns, clinical trials, Compassion in healthcare, healthcare modernisation, patient safety, patient/public involvement, prostate cancer, rarer and uncommon cancers, Screening, Screening Mammography, Womb cancer and hysterectomy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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