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Shared Decision Making in the Care of Patients With Cancer.

Shared decision making (SDM) is a method of care that is suitable for the care of patients with cancer. It involves a collaborative conversation seeking to respond sensibly to the problematic situation of the patient, cocreating a plan of care that makes sense intellectually, practically, and emotionally. Genetic testing to identify whether a patient has a hereditary cancer syndrome represents a prime example of the importance for SDM in oncology. SDM is important for genetic testing because not only results affect current cancer treatment, cancer surveillance, and care of relatives but also these tests generate both complex results and psychological concerns. SDM conversations should take place without interruptions, disruptions, or hurry and be supported, where available, by tools that assist in conveying the relevant evidence and in supporting plan development. Examples of these tools include treatment SDM encounter aids and the Genetics Adviser. Patients are expected to play a key role in making decisions and implementing plans of care, but several evolving challenges related to the unfettered access to information and expertise of varying trustworthiness and complexity in between interactions with clinicians can both support and complicate this role. SDM should result in a plan of care that is maximally responsive to the biology and biography of each patient, maximally supportive of each patient's goals and priorities, and minimally disruptive of their lives and loves.

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