Stuart L. Goldberg, MD, from Hackensack University Medical Center, discussed how health care providers should approach the topic of biomarker testing with their patients so that they are better informed and can make proper treatment decisions in an interview with CancerNetwork®.
Well, talking to our patients about genomics is no different than talking to them about their underlying cancer. We need to spend the time, we need to think about what the patient’s education level is, so that we communicate in a way that they can understand. We don’t want to give them information overload, especially during a critical time when they’re just diagnosed, and they’re scared about it. But at the same time, we can’t hold back information that’s important to making a decision.
I think that if we think about the patient, you know, if it were our loved one, what’s the information that we would want them to have to make the right decisions and to understand what we’re doing. And we don’t have to give it all in the first visit. We can, you know, we’re going to have our long-term relationship with these patients. We want to make sure that we spoon that information out over time as they learn more about their disease. So, communicating genomics is no different than communicating about cancer therapies, which we’ve done for years. It’s just now a new part of what we have to talk about.