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Data Show Potential Impact of Shared Decision Making With RAI Therapy in Thyroid Cancer

Lisa Astor
Published: Thursday, Aug 29, 2019

Lauren P. Wallner, PhD, MPH

Lauren P. Wallner, PhD, MPH

Patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) who were felt to not have a choice in receiving radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment reportedly had lower satisfaction with the treatment decision, suggesting a need for increased shared decision making between physicians and patients, according to results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology

“Taken together, these results suggest that shared decision making may provide an opportunity to not only reduce the overuse of RAI, but also improve decision-making outcomes for patients,” the study authors, led by Lauren P. Wallner, PhD, MPH, wrote in their report.

Although the benefit of RAI remains uncertain among the majority of patients with DTC, especially among those with more favorable risk, the treatment is still commonly used and the timing to use RAI among hospitals is varied. Clinical guidelines recommend selective use of RAI for most patients with thyroid cancer, however, as there are associated adverse effects and costs with the treatment. 

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