A hospital oncology department is an important part of any health care facility. People who have tumors and who are battling cancer turn to these doctors for treatment. If your doctor recently found a tumor in your body, you will likely feel some fear and uneasiness. It can be comforting to understand what this growth…
What to Ask Your Oncologist About Breast Cancer
An oncologist is a doctor who is qualified to diagnose and treat individuals who have cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in women. Men can also develop breast cancer, but it is less common than in women. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you should take the time to educate yourself about the disease. Talking to your doctor is important because it can help you make informed decisions about your health care.
Questions to ask the oncologist
Fully informed patients are usually happier with their treatment. A patient can benefit from having frank, open discussions with the cancer care team. Members of the health care teams always want to answer people’s questions so that individuals can make informed treatment and life decisions. Patients should ask questions that can help them understand the disease and their treatment options.
A person should not be afraid to take notes. Patients should also inform the doctors and nurses when something is not clear. Sometimes, people are advised to bring along someone else to the appointment. The person can take notes to help the patient remember what was said. Here are some of the things people should inquire about.
Imaging tests and type of breast cancer
If a patient has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is important for the individual to find out whether other imaging tests will be needed. The tests may help determine whether or not the tumor has spread to lymph nodes or other body parts. A patient should ask the doctor, based on the biopsy, about the subtype of breast cancer and where it is located in the breast. The doctor should also let the patient know about the treatment plan.
Treatment options for breast cancer depend on several aspects. These include the type and stage of the disease. The doctor should explain the stage to the patient. The patient should also find out where else aside from the breast any tumors are located. The stage of breast cancer is based on several factors. These include the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes. Another important factor that will be considered is whether the cancer has spread to any other areas in the body.
Aside from the type and stage of the disease, there are many other factors that treatment will depend on. These include the patient’s age and medical history, the grade of cancer and the hormone and HER2 receptor status. A patient should ask about all these aspects. It is immensely important for a patient to know about the treatment options available and their benefits and risks.
You should never hesitate to ask your oncologist any questions. It will help you better understand your diagnosis, treatment options, treatment plan and overall care. Keep in mind that physicians are not the only ones who can give you information. The other members of the health care team can also answer some of your questions.
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