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Cancer patients rarely speak up about care problems

Reuters, April 19, 2012

In a new survey of cancer patients, many people who'd had problems with their treatment never said anything to the doctor they thought was responsible—and almost none formally reported the problems to the hospital. Patients cited delays in treatment, surgical complications and other issues related to medical care, in addition to communication barriers or breakdowns between them and their doctors, as the most common potentially harmful problems. Almost all cancer patients said that the problems with their doctor, whether communication-related or medical, had resulted in psychological harms, such as anger, fear and distress.