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the consideration of whether a medical or surgical procedure, particularly a radical approach, is worth the risk to the patient as compared with possible benefits if the procedure is successful.
Examination of the potential positive and negative results of undertaking a specific therapeutic course of action. For example, a man with a slowly growing, localized prostate cancer might want to know whether it is better to undergo surgery (and risk urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction) or to manage his disease conservatively (and risk the spread of the disease). Factors influencing his decision include: 1 financial cost of the operation; 2 likelihood of disease spread; 3 likelihood of complications with or without the operation; 4 life expectancy; 5 overall state of health; and 6 alternative treatments for his disease.
n the consideration as to whether a medical or surgical procedure, particuarly a radical approach, is worth the risk to the patient compared with the possible benefits if the procedure is successful.