Table of contents:
Video: Cancer Patients Who Hide Their Diagnosis Live Shorter Lives
Cancer patients who hide their diagnosis live shorter lives
A new study has shown that it is better not to hide the diagnosis from cancer patients. Cancer awareness can be stressful, but in the long term, awareness is associated with longer life expectancy.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain /
Telling cancer patients that they have cancer has been a longstanding debate in the medical community. Proponents of non-disclosure of this diagnosis point to the fact that knowing about it is very stressful and creates a great emotional burden. It is assumed that this may be associated with a worsening prognosis, especially in tumors with high mortality.
In a new study, Chinese scientists have shown that withholding cancer diagnoses from patients worsens their prognosis. Their work is published in the journal Psycho-Oncology.
The study included 29,825 lung cancer patients. The median survival time for patients who knew about their diagnosis was 18.33 months. Those who did not know about the disease lived for about 8.77 months. In this scientific work, scientists do not provide an explanation of what is the reason for this difference in life expectancy.
The study authors noted that the impact of patient awareness on patient survival is a controversial topic in many countries. For example, in China, different cultural and social factors often lead to patients not being told about cancer. Usually, doctors first inform relatives of the diagnosis, and they decide whether it would be useful for the patient to know about it.
“While the full discovery of a cancer diagnosis can be anxiety for the patient, it is beneficial for the patient in the long term,” said Dr. Yongxian Tang of China's Second Military Medical University, author of the study.