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Consumer Reports Medical Guide Advises Patients to be Better Educated, Know Their Options


YONKERS, N.Y., Aug. 10 -- A new article at http://www.Consumer Reports Medical discusses treatment choices in healthcare that are often controversial and confusing, and the need for patients to be integrally involved in decision making about treatments. While Consumer Reports is most known for reviews and ratings of automobiles and consumer products, the institution encourages people to be savvy consumers when it comes to their own healthcare as well.

The patientís personal values and principles should serve as one of three tent poles that create the most effective treatments. The other two elements are the best available clinical evidence, and the physicianís own clinical experience. But often, the physician you see and where you live can impact decision trends. For example, a man dealing with prostate problems has to weigh removing the prostate against the surgeryís somewhat greater trauma and risk. However, Consumer Reports Medical Guide relays that the actual choice made often depends on whether that patient is working with a urologic surgeon or a radiation oncologist.

What are other difficult healthcare questions one might face? Some include:

-- Whether to treat osteoarthritis of the hip or knee with drugs or with surgery.

-- Whether, when and how to screen for ovarian cancer in women and lung cancer in smokers.

-- Whether to screen for certain genetic diseases in people with strong family histories of those disorders.

-- Whether to use medication in people who have mild diabetes or a high risk of developing it.

To read Controversial Health Choices, visit the Free Highlights on the front page of

Consumer Reports Medical Guide, a subscription-based online tool, provides independent, trustworthy information on approximately sixty common and chronic conditions, with sections explaining how each condition is diagnosed, what symptoms manifest, what to expect, what treatments are available, and specific questions to ask personal physicians...without advertising influence. Consumers Union has a long history of providing independent information on a variety of health and medical issues through Consumer Reports magazine, the Consumer Reports On Health newsletter and


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