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Who knew math class would be so important later in life? Here's the problem: You get a cancer diagnosis and your doctor starts spouting numbers at you. You survival rate is this, but if you do this treatment it could be more like this. All of us sit there in a daze looking at the numbers and blindly staring at your doctor and trying to make a decision.
If you are lucky, your doctor says 'take all these numbers with you and go home and think about it'. If you are unlucky you forgot all the math you ever took and can't decide if a 60% survival rate is better than a 40% death rate. And if you are afraid of math, skipped too many classes, or just hate numbers, you get really stuck.
However we have now medical research to the rescue as this is has become a recognized issue:
“Many of the toughest decisions faced by cancer patients involve knowing how to use numbers – calculating, evaluating treatment options and figuring odds of medication side effects.
But for patients who aren't good at math, decision science research can offer evidence-based advice on how to assess numeric information and ask the right questions to make informed choices.”