In the United States, most people spend more time researching the type of car they want to buy than they. Do learning about their own healthcare options. Though the information is available, some patients opt to be bystanders instead of proactive, engaged participants in their own healthcare decisions.
However, when faced with a major health crisis like a cancer diagnosis, it’s important for patients to consider the major. Role they play in the overall success of their treatment. Time and time again, I’ve witnessed that those patients who make an effort to understand their cancer type and treatment. Plan benefit from a better attitude and outlook during their cancer fight. Consider the following tips for becoming a more proactive patient.
UPON DIAGNOSIS, LEARN ABOUT YOUR TYPE AND STAGE OF CANCER
When a patient is diagnosed with cancer for the first time, he or she typically knows very little about the. Disease. As a first step, ask your doctor to provide you with an overview of your specific type and stage of. Cancer and typical treatment options. If needed, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to repeat things in “layman’s terms,” to ensure that you really understand. Make sure you leave the doctor’s office with additional information you can take home to read or with recommended resources to find more information.
Then, spend some time learning on your own, before your next doctor’s appointment. When using the Internet, be sure to stick to reviewing reliable cancer websites from major organizations like the American Cancer Society (Cancer.org), National Cancer Institute (Cancer.gov), American Society of Clinical Oncology (Cancer.net), National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN.org) and Texas Oncology (TexasOncology.com). Healthcare Decisions
HAVE A VOICE IN THE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR TREATMENT
Prior to meeting with your doctor to begin outlining your treatment plan, compile a short list of questions, including:
What successes have you had with different treatments for my type of cancer?
Are the benefits and risks of each type of treatment?
Option would you recommend to one of your friends or family members if they were in my shoes?
In addition, ask your doctor whether your particular cancer case may benefit from a clinical trial, a research study that examines how patients respond to new medical approaches for various types of cancers. Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation.
IT NEVER HURTS TO HAVE A SECOND SET OF EARS
Invite a friend or family member to attend your appointments to help listen and take notes. With so much medical information to take in, a second set of eyes and ears is helpful. However, it’s still up to you to prepare for appointments in advance, including compiling questions and sharing with your doctor your current list of medications and any new symptoms you’re experiencing.
Throughout the cancer fight, every patient receives advice—from healthcare providers, other cancer survivors, family and friends. Consider each of these perspectives and weigh them carefully to help you make educated decisions about your health and treatment options, so that you feel confident that the path you take for your treatment therapy is the right one for you.