Treatment Decision Tools

Autor: Allyson Distel, MPH and Katherine Okonak, MSW, LSW
Fecha de la última revisión: November 30, 2023

What is a treatment decision tool?

A treatment decision tool is used to help you learn more about your choices when it comes to your treatment plan. It can teach you about the benefits and risks of different treatments. These tools go by many names like:

  • Decision Testing Tool.
  • Decision-Making Tool.
  • Treatment Benefit Testing.
  • Personal Benefit Testing.
  • Patient Decision Aid (PtDa).
  • Personalized Risk Assessment.

Making decisions about cancer treatment can be hard. Decision tools are meant to give you more information to help guide you. When deciding about your treatment, it is best to talk with your care team to come up with a plan that works for you. If you want to use a decision tool, you should talk with your treatment team to learn more about if this type of tool is right for you. Examples of treatment decision tools are DCISionRT™, Oncotype DX®, MyChoice®, and Decipher®.

What can I expect from a decision tool?

Your provider will order a decision tool if they think it would be helpful in planning your care. Most decision tools use tissue samples taken from your biopsy or during surgery. This type of testing is called genomic and it tests your genes. It may provide some information on the chance of the cancer metastasizing (spreading) throughout the body or of it coming back after treatment (recurrence). Some of the tests can give you a score that gives some information on the chance of recurrence.

When using a decision tool, you may have to answer questions and provide your biopsy or blood test. The tool then makes customized information that can be reviewed by you and your provider.

Decision tools are not a necessary part of your treatment but may be helpful. Your provider may tell you that you do not need to use a decision tool to help guide your treatment. They are not recommended for all types of cancer and by all providers.

Is it covered by insurance?

Decision tools are often covered by Medicare and private insurance if ordered by your provider. There may also be financial assistance programs you can use if it is not fully covered by your insurance. Ask your provider or insurance company about coverage before having the test done.

It is best to talk to your care team if you are thinking about using a decision tool or have already used one and would like to review the results.

Decipher Prostate Genomic Classifier (2023). Exceptional prognostic testing for prostate cancer. Retrieved from

Decision support tools for screening and treatment decisions in early cancer (2013). Agency For Healthcare Research and Quality. Retrieved from

Myriad Genetics (2023). Personalizing prostate cancer treatment. Retrieved from

PreludeDx (2023). Dcision RT what is your decision score? Retrieved from

Raphael, D.B., Russell, N.S., Winkens, B., Immink, J.M., Westhoff, P.G., Stenfert Krose, M.C., Stam, M.R., Bijker, N., van Gestel, C.M.J., van der Weijden, T., Boersma, J (2021). A patient decision aid for breast cancer patients deciding on their radiation treatment, no change in decisional conflict but better informed choices. Retrieved from

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