Which cancer dietitians are you most worried about?
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The survey also asked which cancer dietician is the most likely to recommend an early chemo, a drug that can make a person cancer-free but not cure it.
Dietitians who suggested early chemos to patients were most likely: doctors who had been at least six months on the job before the patient’s diagnosis, and those who had an average of at least 10 years of experience.
The survey was part of a campaign to educate dietitics about the benefits of early chemotreatment and urged them to talk to their patients about their options.
“As a dietitic, I know that there are very few treatments that are effective and safe, but the more I know about cancer, the better I can help my patients navigate the disease,” Dr Richey said.
“This survey should give us an insight into what we can do to make it safer for our patients to go ahead and take the medicine that is best for them.”
The survey of more than 5,000 dietitists and nutritionists also asked whether they agreed with the statement that cancer patients should get chemo treatment as soon as possible after their diagnosis.
The results showed that 66 per cent of respondents agreed, and that 73 per cent said that patients should be given chemo within the first six months of diagnosis.
Dr Richex said the survey highlighted the importance of having conversations with patients before treatment.
“I think this is a very important step, particularly as we have seen that patients may have other treatments for cancer,” she said.
“It’s important to be in touch with them, to get to know them better and to talk about their treatment options.”
We know that they may have had surgery or chemotherapy before the diagnosis, so having a conversation is important to ensure that there is no false information being passed on.
“Dr Richard said that the survey could help people to decide which treatment option to consider for themselves.”
So what we’re doing here is to get some of the answers out there.”