Cancer understandably affects more than your physical health. It impedes your psychological well-being as well. Making it necessary for us to develop an approach to comprehensive cancer care that addresses all aspects of your needs in a convenient location. Our multidisciplinary team of professionals collaborate to provide all the services you will need to achieve…
Asking an Oncologist About Your Options for Cancer Treatment
Learning about cancer treatment can be overwhelming. So much information is available, and it can be hard to know where to start and how to make sense of it. However, with the support of a competent care team, patients can see their options clearly, and a cancer diagnosis starts to seem less scary. A skilled and caring oncologist is not only a resource for understanding your diagnosis and options for treatment but also a source of support and guidance when navigating cancer treatment.
What is an oncologist?
An oncologist is a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating cancer. There are different types of oncologists, including those that focus on certain age groups or forms of cancer. They work closely with other healthcare professionals to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for their patients. This plan may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other types of cancer treatments. Oncologists also help patients manage side effects and cope with the emotional impact of cancer.
Advice for talking to an oncologist about cancer treatment
An oncologist and their team is an excellent resource for patients looking to understand their diagnosis and make the best decisions about their health. The following is advice a patient can use when talking to their oncologist and exploring their treatment options.
Learn about your specific diagnosis
There are many different types of cancer, with stages for each. A stage refers to the tumor size and how far the cancer has progressed or spread. This information is instrumental in treatment planning. Though the care team will thoroughly explain the type of cancer and stage, patients are encouraged to ask follow-up questions. Doing one's own research is also encouraged; however, it is important to discuss findings with the oncologist as there can be a lot of misinformation, especially online.
Understand the oncologist's treatment plan
Each patient's treatment plan will be different and customized to them. In most cases, treatment involves a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. A patient's plan will depend on their cancer diagnosis, stage, and unique health situation.
Patients should ensure they understand how treatment will progress and what to expect so they can plan accordingly. All treatments come with side effects, and patients should talk to their oncologist about these side effects and how to prepare for and navigate them. An oncology team with experience in helping patients manage unpleasant side effects can ease that patient's journey through treatment, providing information, advice, and additional medication if necessary.
Ask about all potential options
Learning about all the potential treatment options is important. Though a patient's oncologist will provide what they feel is the best selection of options, patients are encouraged to familiarize themselves with all the potential options. In addition to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical options, other approaches to cancer treatment include:
- Hormone therapy: Influences the way hormones work to stop or slow the growth of certain types of cancer
- Targeted therapy: Employs drugs and substances to identify and target certain types of cancer cells
- Immunotherapy: Involves empowering a patient's immune system to help fight cancer
- Stem cell transplant: Uses a bone marrow transplant, usually from a donor, to treat certain types of cancer
Clinical trials may also be an option for some patients. Clinical trials offer a way for patients who qualify to benefit from new and emerging cancer treatments and procedures.
Ask how to support successful treatment
A cancer diagnosis can make a patient feel like things are out of their control and that they are at the mercy of fate. This feeling of powerlessness and uncertainty can compound the difficulty of battling cancer. However, if a patient feels like there is something they can do to help the treatment outcome, they can start feeling more empowered.
Asking an oncologist what a patient can do to support the success of their treatment can give the patient a greater sense of control. Oncologists have years of experience advising patients on self-care, nutrition, and lifestyle advice that can help improve treatment outcomes. In addition, they can offer guidance on how to cultivate and maintain a positive and strong mental attitude during this difficult time.
We are here to support and guide you
Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center makes it our mission to ensure cancer patients are informed, supported, and provided with the most effective treatment options. If you are facing a cancer diagnosis, you are in good hands with our caring and supportive oncology team. Call our Marlton office today to learn more about cancer treatment options.
Request an appointment here: https://lindenbergcancer.com or call Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center at (856) 475-0876 for an appointment in our Marlton office.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Cancer Treatment in Marlton, NJ.
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