Receiving a cancer diagnosis cancer is life changing. Figuring out what’s next can be challenging, too. What are my treatment options? What should I expect? Who will guide me through it? Traversing the many aspects of a cancer diagnosis can be daunting.
Helping patients navigate their cancer journey is an important function of their care team. While some hospitals have one person serving as a patient navigator to guide patients through the process, Texas Oncology takes a team approach. Our patients are guided by a team of experts – each playing an important role in surrounding patients with specialized support. We focus on communicating with patients and families, managing treatment and side effects, and providing guidance in areas not directly related to clinical care. We help navigate every aspect of care.
Navigation plays a tremendous role in the patient experience. A care team ensures the patients and their family members understand their treatment options, know what to expect, and take advantage of helpful resources. Managing symptoms, providing emotional support, and providing transition into survivorship are also ways a care team helps patients.
Patients should make the most of their care team relationship so the team can better help them navigate the journey.
Don’t shy away from questions. Always answer questions honestly and ask questions openly, even when it feels uncomfortable.
Answering questions honestly will help the care team better understand how the patient is feeling, how they’re responding to treatment, and what support is needed. While a symptom may not seem like a big deal to a patient, it can be important for an oncologist or care team to know.
It’s also important for patients to ask questions without fear. Not doing so can cause fear and stress, so addressing concerns directly can improve the patient experience and potentially avoid complications.
Pay attention to how you feel.
Cancer can bring side effects and new symptoms. It’s important for patients to pay attention to how they feel and tell your care team. Our patients have access to round-the-clock care to give them and their families peace of mind and access to support and care any time, day or night.
Share the journey.
Cancer can impact one’s life in countless ways. Emotional pressures, financial challenges, and lifestyle changes can be stressful and overwhelming. Other times, patients may feel strength and hope, be inspired to help others, or try new things. Through the good times and difficult times, sharing the journey with family, friends, and the care team can be therapeutic and allows patients to feel supported.
When it comes to cancer care, our team has seen it all, but we know our patients haven’t. Each patient experiences cancer differently – it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. By providing a patient navigation model that ensures patients have a system of support from trusted experts, we’re able to create a roadmap to cancer care holistically designed to meet the needs of each person entrusted to our care. At Texas Oncology, no one takes the journey alone.