Decision making in early-stage colorectal cancer treatments: a literature review

Clare Westwood, Robert McSherry, Tom Lee, Josette Bettany-Saltikov

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The introduction of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme has led to an increase in colorectal cancer diagnosed at an early stage. Advances in the options for treatmentof early-stage disease may have similar survival benefits but different risks and side effects. The decision on treatment for early stage bowel cancers can therefore be described as preference sensitive.

A literature review was conducted of 12 studies and reviews published 2007–2017, focusing on patient involvement in decisions on treatment following a diagnosis of colorectal cancer. The review covered both patient and clinician perspectives.

The review highlighted key themes that influence how far patients are involved in decisions regarding treatment. These themes include: patient understanding of the preference-sensitive nature of the decision, time pressures and perceived inapplicability of involving patients.

Further studies are necessary to understand the experiences of patients and clinicians making treatment decisions in the context of early colorectal cancer, including polyp cancers. There is a lack of studies specifically addressing clinician experiences in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalGastrointestinal Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2018


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