10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor (oncologist) 

cancer_treatment

Asking the right questions can help you understand important information about your cancer diagnosis. Here are 10 questions to ask your oncologist:

1. What types of diagnostic testing do you perform? An accurate diagnosis is critical because it is the basis upon which your treatment plan will be determined. For example, PET/CT scans help determine the precise location of cancer in the body to accurately plan treatment. Tumor molecular profiling identifies a tumor’s unique blueprint to choose targeted chemotherapy drugs. It’s important to have access to advanced diagnostic tests, as well as physicians who are experienced in performing them.

2. What does my diagnostic testing tell me?

The information you should receive from diagnostic tests includes: where the cancer originated, the size of the tumor, the stage of cancer and whether or not it has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

3. What treatment options are available? What do you recommend and why? Many types of cancer have a variety of treatment options available. Your doctor should be able to explain the potential benefits of each to help you understand your options, even if he or she doesn’t perform a specific treatment.

4. What happens if a treatment approach doesn’t work for me? At any point, you should feel comfortable asking your doctor about the status of your treatment. When choosing a care team, you may want to consider doctors willing to try new therapies, depending on your response. Look for professionals who will tailor treatments to your specific diagnosis, and who are willing to pursue other options if your treatment isn’t progressing as expected.

5. What are the side effects of treatment, and how often do your patients experience them?

No two people will have the exact same response to cancer treatment, and side effects may vary depending on what type of treatment you choose. Ask your doctor what side effects you might experience, so that you can plan ahead and choose with all of the information you need.

6. How will you help me manage side effects?

Integrative therapies can help prevent or manage side effects, so you stay strong and avoid treatment interruptions. Some therapies that can support your wellness during cancer treatment include: nutrition therapy, naturopathic medicine, mind-body medicine, acupuncture, oncology rehabilitation, spiritual support and pain management. Ask your doctor if any of these are available at your hospital, and how they can be incorporated into your treatment plan.

7. How many patients have you treated with my type and stage of cancer, and how successful have you been?

Ask how much experience your doctor has treating your type and stage of cancer and whether he/she is a board-certified specialist. You may also want to ask about his/her facility’s treatment results so you can see how successful they have been in treating your cancer type.

8. Who will be involved in my care, how often will they meet and who is my main point of contact?

An integrated care team including a surgical, medical, and/or radiation oncologist; dietitian; naturopathic oncology provider; clinical nurse and medical advocate (often a nurse care manager) can ensure you get support for your entire well-being during treatment. If you don’t already have a team like this in place, talk to your doctor about assembling a multidisciplinary team.

9. Where will all my treatments, appointments, tests, etc., take place?

When looking for a treatment facility, consider the coordination and convenience of your treatment. Having appointments and procedures in one location can make treatment less stressful for you, and it may allow you to start treatment sooner.

10. How will you help me balance my cancer care with the demands of my normal life? Your cancer treatment should adapt to your individual needs, and family and professional obligations. Talk to your doctor about your personal needs, so that all aspects of your life are considered when choosing a treatment plan.

For more information on getting a second opinion on  your treatment contact us on http://www.GrandOpinion.com .

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Seeking Help of Doctor for Advanced Healthcare

When it comes to dealing with critical diseases it definitely helps to take the help of a doctor to take a second opinion.

Making a decision regarding your health is probably one of the most important decisions in a person’s life. You have just been diagnosed with a critical disease, the expert has advised you a certain line of treatment but you are still confused and distraught. Lots of questions in your mind and you are still not sure whether to go with what the experts have said. This is a time when you should seek your doctor’s help in not just getting another opinion but also to understand about your problem, the lines of treatment, prognosis and other implications if any. It is of prime importance to be well informed before deciding your line of treatment.

NEED FOR ADVANCED HEALTHCARE DECISIONS

A healthcare decision may not be the easiest decision for you to make. There may be several reasons when you may need to reach out to another doctor to understand your problem better and to take a proper decision about your line of treatment. These reasons could range from a misdiagnosis to being asked to undergo an unnecessary surgery or maybe there are not enough advanced health care facilities in your area or it could be your own distrust in the medical system and your gut feeling asking you to take a second opinion.

MISDIAGNOSIS- A MAJOR SETBACK

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Image-www.drdunckley.com

According to a study done by the BMJ Journal of Quality and Safety 12 million adults in the US are misdiagnosed every year which means that 1 out of 20 adults are misdiagnosed and can even be harmed due to this misdiagnosis. According to a study done by JAMA in 2012 the main reasons for misdiagnosis include ordering wrong diagnostic tests, the patient not providing the correct medical history and a wrong interpretation of a test result by the doctor.

According to Kaiser News, 28 percent of 583 diagnostic errors were either proved fatal or ended in a permanent disability. Some of the most common conditions which are misdiagnosed include heart attacks, cancer, celiac disease, stroke, depression, thyroid conditions, fibromyalgia , pulmonary embolism to name a few.

If you have just been given a diagnosis and have your doubts on it, just head to another doctor – a specialist with all your reports, give them your entire history and understand your health condition and whether your diagnosis is correct or not.

LACK OF ACCESS TO SPECIALTY HEALTHCARE

One of the main reasons why people need to seek further help for their healthcare is because of the lack of specialty healthcare services in their area. People living in the rural areas of India and in smaller cities end up travelling to the bigger metro cities to seek advanced healthcare because they know they will get the best in big cities. If your primary healthcare physician has just given you a diagnosis of a major health problem, it is better you go to better well equipped hospital, meet a specialist and try to understand what you are going through. The specialist may advise you further tests or may just look at your current reports and tell you about your diagnosis, the options for treatments you have, the prognosis and any other info you need to know. It is indeed important that if you live in a city which lacks access to specialty health care and if you are diagnosed with a critical health issue you immediately reach out for some help from a better equipped centre. A Lancet Study shows that 3.6 lakh children below the age of five die pre term every year because of the lack of proper healthcare facilities in their area.

UNNECESSARY SURGERIES

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Image-www.tumblr.com

If your doctor has just told you that you need a surgery, please don’t say a yes unless it is an absolute emergency. Time and again we hear that doctors are performing tens of thousands of unnecessary surgeries which instead of helping patients get better end up creating other complications for them. According to USA Today a dermatologist Michael Rosin was sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment and fined $ 7 million because he repeatedly and intentionally misdiagnosed patients with skin cancer so he could perform surgeries on them. Being advised an unnecessary surgery is one of the main reasons why people seek help of other specialists for opinions to understand the conditions, weigh their options and decide if they really need a surgery or not. The most commonly advised surgeries which may be unnecessary include cardiac angioplasties for stents, pacemakers, hysterectomies, knee and hip replacement surgeries and caesarean sections.

DISTRUST IN MEDICAL SYSTEM

According to a study done by the National Institute of Health America on 961 adults, 20% to 80% of the respondents said they had a lot of distrust on the healthcare system. This distrust is due to various reasons including misdiagnosis, unnecessary tests and surgeries.

Seeking your doctor’s help for advanced healthcare depends on your situation. If you are in a smaller town it could help to head to a bigger city to seek better opinions and excellent health care facilities. On the other hand if you have been diagnosed with a critical problem like cancer and you hear of better treatment options abroad and can afford it then also you can seek the help of a doctor in understanding if you should opt for treatment abroad and where you should go.

SECOND OPINIONS- A BOON

An alarming diagnosis, a painful line of treatment advised by your doctor has just left you totally confused and distraught. At a time like this you may just want a good second opinion and may want to hear that after all your condition is not so bad and is treatable. GrandOpinion (www.grandopinion.com) is one such portal which aims at providing speedy second opinions to people. It is just like reaching out to a doctor for a second opinion. Here the doctors are online and once you file your reports, they quickly take a look and immediately revert to you about your diagnosis and advise you on your treatment options. Sitting here in India you could easily get an opinion from a doctor in the United States and the best option for treatments as well.