App improves survival of advanced cancer patients by 5 months

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Ethan Basch, MD, has developed a web-based tool for cancer patients to report symptoms on a weekly basis. The Symptom Tracking And Reporting (STAR) tool aims to improve quality of life and reduce emergency room visits for patients with advanced cancers.

In studies on the app, researchers were able to increase the survival of 766 patients with advanced urologic, gynecologic, breast or lung cancer by an average of five months.

“This tool brings us closer to the country doctor model,” Basch said. “We’re in touch with our patients on a regular basis, he said. “As an oncologist, it makes me feel like my patients aren’t ‘out of sight and out of mind.’ When my patients are using this tool, I worry less that they’re going to experience something and I won’t know about it,” he said. “If patients are experiencing a problem, we can reach out.”

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