Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer that affects the blood’s plasma cells. Plasma cells (not to be confused with liquid blood plasma) are a type of white blood cell that secretes antibodies. Their function makes them an integral part of the body’s defense mechanism.When cancer affects parts of the body’s defense, the effects…
Cancer Treatment: What to Expect at Your First Oncology Appointment
It is not easy getting the news that cancer is in your body. The disease can cause pain and inhibit your ability to perform routine tasks. Fortunately, there are effective ways of treating and even killing many forms of this disease. You will meet with an oncologist — a doctor focused on the study, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The oncologist will help you overcome the effects of the condition and live a normal life. It is helpful to be ready for your initial meeting and what will occur in the coming weeks of your treatment.
The oncologist’s goals
An oncologist has the training and knowledge to identify different forms of cancer and how the disease progresses. This doctor can determine what the affected parts of the body are and whether the cancer is spreading to other tissues or organs. The oncologist will work closely with nurses, radiologists, surgeons and other doctors. Ultimately, the oncologist wants to provide patients with the right resources and treatments to conquer the illness and enjoy a successful recovery. The oncologist will follow up regularly with the patient leading up to the surgeries and other procedures.
Exam and review
When a patient comes in for the first consultation, the oncologist will conduct a thorough examination. The oncologist will ask questions and review the patient’s health history. This will include an assessment of the scans and tests the person may have had beforehand. The oncologist can then formulate a treatment strategy that makes the most sense to the patient.
Getting to know the patient
The oncologist is concerned about the patient’s welfare and wants the person to feel comfortable. The doctor will go over the patient’s concerns and answer any questions the patient may have about the impending treatment and procedures. The two will have a conversation about the patient’s goals and needs. They will also discuss any anxiety and fears the person may have. It may also be helpful for the oncologist to know the patient’s hobbies, interests, work and family.
Reviewing next steps
Having cancer can be scary for anyone. There are a lot of unknown factors for the patient, especially when it comes to the long-term outlook and recovery prospects. At the first appointment, the oncologist will talk about treatment options. The doctor will explain which ones are available, how effective they are and what the side effects may be. Then the oncologist will recommend a course and talk about when the treatments should take place.
Feel at ease with your cancer
It can be overwhelming to find out you have this disease. It is not easy to feel calm and comfortable about what will happen in the next few weeks or months. However, from the first meeting, the oncologist will make sure you understand what lies ahead. This doctor will be a resource you can feel good about. Make your first appointment today and start on the road to recovery.
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