National Cancer Institute

Meet the Behavioral Research Program Featured Researchers

  • Barbara Biesecker , National Human Genome Research Institute
    "Genetic testing can be a pivotal point in cancer prevention by identifying whether there is a known genetic cause, who inherited the mutation in the family, and what screening and prevention options may be pursued; while genetic testing has become more routinized, the choice to undergo testing remains difficult for many family members."

  • Jeannine Brant , Billings Clinic
    "A change in cancer treatment from disease control to end-of-life or comfort care (deciding on no further treatment) poses a significant challenge for both patients and families."

  • Paul Han , Maine Medical Center
    "A pivotal point at which significant decision-making challenges arise for patients, families, and health care professionals is when a serious illness such as cancer progresses despite treatment, requiring all parties to reassess prognosis and the goals of care."

  • Steven Katz , University of Michigan
    "A diagnosis of cancer is a startling moment in people's lives that triggers a torrent of decisions in an increasingly complex clinical and practice context."

  • Shakun Malik , National Cancer Institute
    "Challenges arise for patients and their families with regard to where to get treatment (community based vs. academic centers) and whether to participate in clinical trials or get the standard of care, while physicians need to be empathetic but honest about the outcomes."

  • Tricia Strusowski , Christiana Care
    "Among the many challenges faced by a patient and their family, a major decision-making challenge is balancing the critical decisions regarding outcome, prognosis, and finances when they review their treatment options."

  • Geoffrey Williams , University of Rochester
    "Informing asymptomatic patients of a cancer diagnosis presents significant decision-making challenges. Providing the information that is most useful to the patient and acknowledges their anxiety is most important for maintaining the relationship and enhancing patient autonomy."