Cancer treatments can be overwhelming to patients and the people surrounding them. Many families battle cancer every day. Some of them are new to this fight. The stress from cancer treatments often makes treatments seem unclear. Communicating with your doctor can help remove this confusion. If you want to find out more about the types…
3 Questions to Ask an Oncologist About Your Cancer Treatment
When you have cancer, it is important for you to be able to talk to your doctor openly about your treatment. Asking the right questions is vital during this time. It will help you make the most out of your treatment time. Keep reading to learn more.
Is a clinical trial available?
Many patients are hesitant to ask this question. Some people are nervous about being a human guinea pig. Other people might be nervous about things they have heard about clinical trials. However, many clinical trials are not as bad as the myths make it seem. Instead, patients who take part in clinical trials often do better with the treatments. These patients receive state-of-the-art care.
A clinical trial is a research that is carried out on humans. It is used to test out a new type of medication or treatment for patients. Treatments are not offered to the general public as soon as the treatment is finished. The clinical trial will determine how well the treatment works. If it is found to be helpful, then the treatment may be used for many patients. There are many things that a patient may get in a clinical trial, such as:
- Drugs that are not approved yet
- Alternative medications
- Medications to relieve patients’ symptoms
- New ways to give out drugs
- New uses of existing drugs
Where can the patient get a second opinion?
Patients are often afraid to ask this question because they are afraid they might offend the doctor. However, a second opinion can provide another pathology review. Not every doctor is knowledgeable about every condition. It can be difficult to keep up with the changes in the field of pathology.
What is the goal of the cancer treatment?
It is important for patients to define the goals of the treatment ahead of time. It can include completely defeating cancer. Or it might just involve slowing the cancerous growths. In some cases, it may only be to improve a patient’s quality of life in the last days.
In general, the more likely a patient is to recover, the more side effects the patient may have. Patients will want to know what will come out of the treatment. If the condition is likely to relapse in a year, patients may not want to undergo side effects. If the goal of the treatment is not a cure, the oncologist should talk about what needs to happen.
It is often easier for a physician to come up with another cure than to look at options. Many people do not get referred to hospice care as soon as it is needed. Hospice does not mean the patient is giving up. Instead, it can make them more comfortable.
Visit an oncologist today
If you have cancer, knowing the right questions to ask is important. It will help you have a good treatment. Your oncologist should respect your decisions. For example, you might need hospice care at some point.
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