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Dr. Ethan Basch speaks during an interview at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Basch conducted a study that shows cancer patients who use home computers to report problems like nausea and fatigue improved survival _ by nearly half a year, longer than many new cancer drugs do. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Quickly reporting cancer complications may boost survival

Dr. Ethan Basch speaks during an interview at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Basch conducted a study that shows cancer patients who use home computers to report problems like nausea and fatigue improved survival _ by nearly half a year, longer than many new cancer drugs do. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CHICAGO (AP) — A study finds that having cancer patients use home computers to report problems like nausea and fatigue surprisingly improved survival, by almost half a year. That’s longer than many new cancer drugs do.

The online tool was intended as a way for people to regularly report symptoms rather than trying to call their doctors or waiting until their next appointment. Those who used it had a better quality of life and lived five months longer on average than those who did not.

Doctors say patients should speak up about side effects and not assume they’re unavoidable. Symptoms may mean a treatment isn’t working, so reporting them quickly gives a chance to try something new.

The study was discussed Sunday at a cancer conference in Chicago.

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