There aren’t many situations in life that could be as traumatic as hearing a doctor say that you have cancer.
At first, it could seem that the world is completely turned upside down as you might be faced with decisions you never thought you would need to make.
Once you take some time and process your diagnosis, however, you will want to take an active role in your healthcare. If you can do this, it will give you a sense of control and can give you hope for your treatment options and recovery. One of the first and most important decisions that you will make is choosing the right oncologist for your cancer care.
An oncologist is a specialist who treats tumors and cancers. Oncologists will usually take over care after the initial cancer diagnosis. Your primary care physician will usually refer you to an oncologist for the treatment of cancer. This will be a good place to start when looking for a cancer specialist for your treatment. You might also try doing a search for an “oncologist near me” to locate caregivers in your area. Since your oncologist will direct your cancer care, you will want to find the best one for your situation. The best oncologist makes sure that you understand your case and will also explain your treatment options. They should also help you manage any pain and cope with the potential side effects of your cancer or treatment. Let’s take a look at some tips for finding the best oncologist.
1. Understand your treatment options.
One of the first things that you need to consider is the possible treatments for your type of cancer. Understanding your diagnosis will help you choose the right medical oncologist. Every kind of cancer has unique treatment options to target the specific type of tumors and cancer cells. You will want to select an oncologist with experience treating cancer patients in your similar situation.
Lung cancer and breast cancer will require different treatment options and procedures so you will want a doctor that has done clinical research and has a special interest and skills in treating your cancer. Do some research to find out how many patients they have treated and how successful they have been. Since a cancer diagnosis can wreak havoc on the mind and body, you might also consider a medical oncologist that supports the treatment of the whole person.
2. Consider your treatment location.
It is important to keep in mind that doctors have clinics where they treat patients, but that they also have specific hospitals where their patients are admitted. Your doctor’s hospital will become your hospital. Since you will likely be admitted to the hospital at some point during the course of your treatment, hospital quality is important.
You will want to be sure that you will receive the best medical care at your doctor’s hospital. Do some research to consider the location of the hospital, the quality of patient care, and the ability of the facility to administer treatment. The quality of the treatment location will be just as important as the treatment itself.
3. Have a dialogue with your doctor.
One of the most important things that you can do when looking for a doctor is to talk to them. When you meet with an oncologist ask lots of questions and gather all of the information that you can about your disease and your doctor. Since you are entrusting your care and in some cases, your life to your doctor, you want to make sure that you trust them and that you are comfortable with them. These things will important for both the cancer patient and the doctor. Cancer treatment is a journey that will involve both parties and consideration for everyone’s preferences will be crucial. The best oncologist will be one that listens to you and has open communication with you about your care.
Choosing an oncologist is an important decision when you are faced with a cancer diagnosis. Most people think that they don’t have time to do research and consider their options. Unless you are experiencing urgent symptoms, however, most people do have time to do research and select a doctor and treatment plan that is best for them. You might also have to consider what insurers will cover. When you get a cancer diagnosis, take a breath and then take some time to consider your options and what will the best thing for your situation.