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Finding Your Way

Which Treatments Work Best for You?

Information helps with right care, treatment decisions

Some questions included in this guide include:

  • Is my risk of breast cancer higher or lower than other women my age?
  • What if I don't want to start medicine at the age I am now? Can I start later?
  • Is my risk for blood clots higher than usual?
  • Can I do anything else to lower my risk for breast cancer?

Another guide examines how to manage pain from a broken hip. Both men and women are at risk, but women are twice as likely as men to suffer a broken hip by age 80. The guide describes why it is important to manage pain, outlines medicines that may help you, and provides risks and benefits on other ways to manage pain.

To help you make a decision on how to manage pain, the guide suggests key questions to ask, such as:

  • Which options do you think are best to manage my pain?
  • How quickly can I expect relief from my pain?
  • How long do you think I will need to manage my pain?
  • Are you concerned about the side effects from any of these options?

Other consumer guides from AHRQ that address women's health issues cover breast biopsy, osteoporosis treatments, gestational diabetes, and induced labor. They provide helpful background on health conditions. Some even include basic price information on medicines. Here is AHRQ's complete list of patient and consumer guides.

A new consumer guide to help women over age 50 learn which screening tests, medicines and daily steps to follow to stay healthy also is available.

We have made remarkable progress in understanding how treatments affect different groups of patients and that information is very useful when you talk to your health care team about the right treatment for you.

I'm Dr. Carolyn Clancy, and that's my opinion on how to navigate the health care system.

Also of interest: How to talk to (and understand) your doctor. >>

Carolyn M. Clancy, a general internist and researcher, is an expert in engaging consumers in their health care. She is the director of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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