Many Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year. And hundreds of thousands of people die from the disease annually. But research shows that a large percentage of cancer cases, as well as cancer deaths, are preventable. Read on to find out ways you can reduce your risk of developing cancer.Many people have heard conflicting reports…
When Are Patients Referred to an Oncologist?
An oncologist is a physician who is highly trained to investigate, diagnose and treat an individual with cancer or suspected cancer. These doctors can treat many different types of cancer in various parts of the patient’s body. If you have cancer, an oncologist can make the treatment plan based on pathology reports. It will depend on the type of cancer you have, how much the cancer has developed and how quickly it is likely to spread. The parts of your body that are involved will also be considered.
First oncologist appointment
Cancer has a major impact on society not only in the U.S. but also worldwide. Many people die from different types of cancer every year. Cancer is known to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. But the good thing is that survival rates continue to improve.
This is attributed to advances in cancer detection, treatment as well as management. People with cancer usually work with a team of health care providers. Medical teams often include oncologists, nurses, pathologists and dietitians. All the members of the team provide valuable services that are crucial to the patient’s health.
An individual will often see an oncologist when the primary care physician suspects that the patient has cancer. A primary care physician may use different diagnostic tests and procedures to diagnose a patient. CT scans and an MRI, as well as blood tests, can be used to confirm the diagnosis. If the tests reveal signs of cancer, the primary care doctor may recommend that the patient visits an oncologist.
What to expect
The first oncology appointment may last for only a few hours. During the first appointment, the oncologist will spend time gathering information about the patient’s health. The oncologist is still likely to conduct a physical exam even if the primary care doctor performed one. Some additional tests may also be carried out.
During the appointment, the patient may meet other cancer care team members. The patient may also meet people who will explain the insurance process and costs involved in treatment. It is not uncommon for an oncologist to give the patient a basic prediction of how long it will take to recover. Patients are usually encouraged to ask questions.
Most people have a lot of questions right up until they meet the doctor. Patients can then forget what they wanted to ask. It is beneficial for patients to know all about the disease and treatment plan. People should keep a pen and paper handy in the days leading to the appointment. They should write down all their questions.
You will likely be referred to an oncologist if your doctor suspects that you have the disease. Your primary care physician may carry out tests to determine if you might have cancer. If there are any signs of cancer, your doctor may recommend visiting an oncologist as soon as possible. This may be for further testing and treatment. You should expect to work with a group of health care providers while receiving treatment.
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