When you learn that you have a specific disease or condition, it can be confusing and overwhelming. There are many resources and sources of support to help you.
After you have learned about treatment options (from your provider and your own research), you need to make a decision about what is best for you.
What should I consider when making treatment decisions?
There are several things you will want to consider when making any treatment decision:
- Risks: What are the risks or problems associated with treatment? Be sure you understand the side effects and potential for complications. Also investigate the financial costs.
- Benefits: What are the potential benefits? How will the treatment address your problem?
- Evidence: How much evidence (research or experience) exists? Does it support the efficacy and safety of the treatment?
It is often helpful to consider the risks, benefits, and evidence together. For example, you may decide to pursue a course of treatment even if there is only a moderate amount of research for it but the potential benefits are high and the known risks are low. On the other hand, if the risk of a treatment is high and the benefit and research only moderate, you may not chose to pursue it.