Detecting cancer prognosis, breaking 'bad' news to patients

5 February, 2020

On this World Cancer Day - 4 February 20202, we share this very useful information about cancer prognosis how we inform and guide patients, etc:

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Below are the opening paragraphs. The full text - available after free registration - is here: ]

Oncology News

'How Long Do I Have?' New Online Tool for Patients With Cancer

Roxanne Nelson, RN, BSN

February 03, 2020

Patients with cancer often want to know 'How long do I have?' Now they can take a look themselves at a newly launched and free online prognosis tool,

It provides patients with a simple tool that can be customized according to their cancer type and specific characteristics such as grade and stage, as well as individual characteristics such as their age and gender.

Stephen Buck, CEO and cofounder of Courage Health, the company behind, emphasized that the goal of this tool is not only to provide information about prognosis, but to encourage patients to speak with their physician.

"We want the patient to do the research for the purpose of having a conversation the doctor," he told Medscape Medical News. "These are just statistics, based on their profile, but it provides the basis for further discussion."

Buck explained that it was developed as an aid for patients. "Once you hear something shocking like a cancer diagnosis, you can really be overwhelmed," he said. "And a lot of studies have shown that patients often don't understand what they are told about a prognosis. The physician, for example, may use language that may be hard for patients to understand."

Courage Health uses the same data as the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), he said.

"The NCI does provide information on their website through the SEER [Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results] Explorer tool, but it's tricky for an inexperienced user," said Buck. "In this regard, our tool — using the same underlying data - is very similar. We just have an easier-to-uuse interface plus questions to ask your doctor."

In addition, this tool is a little more customizable, Buck added. "Someone with colon cancer, for example, may have a 5-year survival rate of 75% according to some data, but that might include all ages and grades. We try to tailor it a little to make it more exact." [...]

Joseph Ana


@Health Resources International (HRI) WA.

National Implementing Organisation: 12-Pillar Clinical Governance

National Implementing Organisation: PACK Nigeria Programme for PHC

Publisher: Medical and Health Journals; Books and Periodicals.

Nigeria: 8 Amaku Street, State Housing & 20 Eta Agbor Road, Calabar.

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HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: jneana AT