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Deciphering Next Steps in Cancer Treatment
Once a cancer diagnosis is made it’s on to the treatment plan - the details of which can be vastly overwhelming for patients. There is so much on the line and so much on the table with regard to the options. It’s most important that patients are working with a doctor and a medical team with which they feel supported in a relationship of mutual trust. This will allow patients to feel that they are in the very best of hands during their treatment and that their team has their best medical and personal interests always at heart.
Depending on the type and stage of cancer, there will be a variety of treatment options available including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormonal therapy, and most often a combination of several of these treatments. The patient’s doctor will recommend the best course of treatment for the cancer at hand and - if the relationship is as it should be - offer their patient the opportunity to ask as many questions as possible about what to expect.
When you’re deciphering the next steps in your own cancer treatment, here are some of the questions to keep in mind for your medical team:
· What is my prognosis based on this treatment or combined treatment? What is the best case scenario? What is the worst case scenario? What does your doctor anticipate being the outcome of your treatment?
· Why is your doctor recommending this particular course of treatment?
· What should you expect from each treatment with regard to preparation, undergoing the treatment itself, and recovery?
· What are the side effects associated with this course of treatment?
· Will you require hospitalization or will the treatment(s) be given on an outpatient basis?
· Will you be required to take medication?
· If chemotherapy and/or radiation has been recommended, how long is each course of treatment?
· What are the follow-up tests involved?
Most importantly, take copious notes during your appointments or based on any reading you’ve done to assemble the questions to which you want answers. Your doctor will help you feel more comfortable with what is to come and together you can move on to tackling what’s at hand.
About the Center
Southlake Oncology is a Choice Cancer Care facility. Using state-of-the-art treatment processes, doctors here deliver expert care with compassion. Within the clinic our patients will find a peaceful, spa-like atmosphere, an experienced and trained medical staff, and our board certified medical oncology and hematology physicians Dr. James Mackey and Dr. Kiran Kancharla. Southlake Oncology also offers ample and convenient free parking to all of our patients and family members. Visit southlakeoncology.com for more information on treatment options available at their centers.
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