Victoria Mondloch is a true symbol for those seeking modern healthcare. She is a specialist in gynecology and obstetrics, being recognized as a fantastic doctor for women’s health and family medicine. During her long years in medicine she met numerous patients and understood how important it is for the doctor to discuss all available options with them. According to Victoria Mondloch, one of the important things that should be understood is that everything that is to be done in one case varies based on individual cases.
Mondloch points to a Wisconsin study that showed men that had early-stage prostate cancer. The 10 year death rates for those men were the same, no matter what doctors did in actively monitoring for growth signs or even cancer eradication through radiation or surgery.
The results of the study are quite important for patients. They show that patients have to find the physicians that actually interact with them, similarly to how financial advisors work. Victoria Mondloch says all Wisconsin doctors and even those around the world have to take the necessary time to understand patients with the purpose of helping them find appropriate treatment, based on personal goals.
In medical care we so often see that physicians do not behave like the counselors. They simply offer treatment recommendations and do not take the needed time to understand the goals of the patients. In the early-stage prostate cancer, the slow-growing tumor is usually not fatal if the diagnosis is made. Many men live with the indolent tumor for tens of years. If men know this they sometimes choose to have cancers monitored, with frequent doctor visits or go for biopsies to notice when tumors spread. Monitoring has the big advantage of being noninvasive, although it can easily create anxiety.
Other men faced with the same situation will prefer to go through active treatments like radiation or surgery as this eradicates cancer and reduces anxiety. The active treatments have specific downsides with each treatment being quite arduous, sometimes causing both urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
Choosing between active monitoring and active treatment is all about the personal goals of the patient and how the trade-off is seen between possible outcomes. Victoria Mondloch recommends truly counseling patients when faced with a situation like early-stage prostate cancer so goals are actually taken into account as a decision is made.
Unfortunately, in most cases treatment recommendation is made by the doctor without actually taking into account the personal goals of the patient. The medic simply recommends what he/she thinks is better, sometimes not even mentioning the alternatives to what is discussed. Since patient empowerment is not actively promoted, patients also do not ask questions. This is a bad situation from an ethic point of view since the help that is offered is not full. Not mentioning some possible outcomes and treatment options can only lead to making a decision that is not actually fully understood, one that may not be the best one for the patient, even if the doctor thinks so.