When to Consult a Cancer Specialist

Cancer Specialist Marlton, NJ

The American Cancer Society finds that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States alone, and it can affect anyone at any time. Thankfully, we have cancer specialist formally known as oncologists to combat this disease. Unfortunately, most people do not seek an oncologist on their own. Their primary care physician may find possible warning signs of cancer or diagnose them with the disease. This article will explain when to contact our cancer specialist to increase your chances of beating your diagnosis.

Seeking a Cancer Specialist

Cancer Symptoms and Signs

A person with cancer may experience a wide range of symptoms, varying in severity. Some symptoms are so common that patients do not feel a cause for alarm, allowing their condition to worsen until they seek treatment. If a patient experiences any of the following, it is important to bring it up to their primary care physician right away:

  • A sore that will not heal after treatment
  • Pain, aches, or lumps in the lymph nodes (soft tissue), underarms, or groin area
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue
  • Persistent cough or hoarseness
  • Skin Changes (patches or moles)
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Bloody coughs
  • A drastic change in appetite
  • Unexplained and persistent headaches
  • Spells of vision and hearing loss
  • Unusual bruising

It is worth noting that there are more cancer-related symptoms than the ones listed above; however, these are the most commonly reported. While the symptoms can have multiple causes (not all cancer), some less serious than others, patients should not wait and see if the symptoms disappear without treatment. Instead, when patients bring these symptoms to their primary care physician’s attention, they can run tests to determine if it is necessary to get a cancer specialist involved. Additionally, if this list resonates with anyone, they can schedule an appointment with our oncologist to receive a formal diagnosis of their condition.

Understanding Cancer Specialists

A cancer specialist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing various types of cancer in patients of all ages. The role of a cancer specialist is to provide comprehensive care for patients with cancerous tumors or other diseases that affect their blood cells. This includes crafting and managing the patient’s treatment plan and even performing surgery when necessary. In addition, they will stay in contact with the patient’s primary care physician to update their medications and the patient’s response to treatments. An oncologist can also recommend other specialists, such as radiologists and pathologists, for further testing to craft the most effective treatment plan possible for the patient.

What to Expect During the First Appointment

The first meeting with a cancer specialist is a critical step in getting treatment for cancer and increasing one's chances of remission. During the first appointment, our team will review the patient’s medical history, including if they have been pre-disposed to any type of cancer. We will also review the patient’s current medications, including vitamins and herbs that are not a part of their regular prescription regimen, making it a good idea to bring them (or a list) to the appointment.

From there, a cancer specialist may order tests, such as blood work or imaging studies (X-rays or MRIs), before moving to a physical examination. The physical examination can help determine if there are any other possible causes for the symptoms that led the patient to seek specialized medical care. It is important to note that patients may not receive a formal diagnosis on the same day as their first appointment. The delay is due to our office waiting to receive the testing results ordered, which we usually receive within 48 hours.

Patients can expect their first appointment to last between one and two hours. After we receive their lab results, we will schedule the patient’s follow-up appointment to discuss their diagnosis, personalized treatment plan, and expectancy chances of success. The length of time diagnosis and treatment depends largely on what type of cancer was found during the initial testing: early-stage cancers are often treated with minimally-invasive surgery alone, whereas mid to late-stage cancers often require a combination of treatment styles (surgery and therapies).

Increase Your Chances of Remission Today

If you receive a diagnosis or are concerned about having cancer, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Timing is of the essence with this disease. You do not need to wait for a referral from your primary care physician to seek a cancer specialist.

We invite all with cancer concerns to contact our Marlton today by calling (856) 475-0876. Our special team will help craft a personalized care plan for your needs.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Cancer Specialist in Marlton, NJ.

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