Internet tools have become a great aid in the daily practice of physicians who treat breast cancer patients. In cancer care there are frequent and important intersections where major decisions need to be made; these include (1) whether or not to give chemotherapy; (2) how much toxicity to expect, and (3) the life expectancy of the patient, considering non-breast cancer comorbidities. These decisions can be made more accurately using calculators based on data sets of thousands of patients as opposed to physician intuition. Such tools also help patients and caregivers in optimal decision making, as they estimate the absolute benefits and risks of treatment. In this perspective we describe selected internet sites that are useful across several domains of care, including the potential benefits of different adjuvant regimens for early breast cancer, prognosis after neoadjuvant therapy, prognosis for ductal carcinoma in situ, and toxicity and life expectancy estimates. We review the variables required to use the tools, the results obtained, the methods of validation, and the advantages and disadvantages of each tool.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pharmacology (medical)