Do survey participant treatment preferences and anxiety levels differ when papillary thyroid cancer is described with or without the term cancer?
In this randomized crossover study of 550 adults without thyroid cancer, when papillary thyroid cancer was described as a lesion or as abnormal cells (rather than as a cancer), participants were more likely to opt for less invasive treatment options and experienced lower levels of anxiety.
Effect of a change in papillary thyroid cancer terminology on anxiety levels and treatment preferences. A randomized crossover trial. Nickel B, Barratt A, McGeechan K, Brito JP, Moynihan R, Howard K, McCaffery K. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg., 2018
Media coverage following the release of this publication:
- Pharmacy News (US). What’s in a name? Perhaps anxiety and overtreatment. 6 September 2018
- The Limbic (Australia). Drop the C word to ease anxiety and reduce surgery in low-grade lesions. 29 August 2018.
- Reuters Health (US). Changing name of small papillary thyroid cancers may curb anxiety, overtreatment. 30 August 2018.
- Medpage Today. Words matter when talking about cancer – use of ‘cancer’ drives preferences for aggressive treatments. 24 August 2018.
- HealthDay News (US). Drop the word ‘cancer’, and patient choices change. 23 August 2018.
- JAMA network podcast author interview with Dr Michael Johns. 23 August 2018.
- JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery accompany invited commentary by Dr Andrew Shuman. “The Evolving Nomenclature of Thyroid Cancer: What’s in a Name?” 23 August 2018.