Health-related risk involves the probability of a negative health event, such as being diagnosed with cancer. The importance of risk depends not only upon this probability, but also upon the severity of the disease in question and its potential negative consequences of morbidity and mortality. Risk communication involves the open exchange between physicians and their patients regarding health-related information about risks toward the goal of more informed decisions about prevention and treatment. Although physicians and patients may be the primary communicators about patients' risks of developing cancer and possible preventive actions (such as cancer screening), risk information is also communicated by the media, in public health campaigns, and by researchers in published findings in scientific journals. It is important for the general public to be ...

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