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Cancer care: choice of top professionals
Choosing the best professionals who will assist you, depends entirely on you.
Your team of experts in cancer treatment
Collect the best experts
You recently been diagnosed with - cancer, and perhaps you have not yet recovered from the shock. Perhaps you've considered high things, such as life and death, or trying to solve everyday issues such as who will wash and iron clothes while you are in the hospital?
But you're not alone cope with this problem. Of course, you are your family and friends. And you will be a doctor. But you will help not only him. On the contrary, you will need a team of specialists to help you pass this test. "For a good cancer treatment should always be a lot of people" - said Jean K. Buckner (Jan C. Buckner), MD, head of the department of medical oncology at the Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, Minnesota, USA.
Of course, you ask, how is this possible? How can you, being depressed, assemble a team of experts in cancer treatment? Here's what you need to know:
Why do you need your team?
In the treatment of cancer is often used several methods, for example, not only chemotherapy, but surgery, radiation therapy. This usually means that you will not be a doctor, but a few.
But the good medical care - is more than just treatment of the disease. Cancer can affect many areas of your life, your mood, nutrition, family - just a few. So you need some help nurses, dietitians, therapists and other professionals. People with whom you may never see, for example, pathologists and anesthesiologists, and assist you, staying behind the scenes.
The presence of these professionals on your team is difficult to overestimate. "Each specialist may have their views on the diagnosis and treatment" - Terry says Eiji, (Terri Ades) Head of cancer information at the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, USA. "The more people you have in your team, the more you have a choice."
Key people in your team - your doctor and nurse
First of all, start by finding a doctor. This is usually an oncologist or surgeon, oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer. Search for the oncologist can take a lot of energy. Nevertheless, Harold J. Bernstein (Harold J. Burstein), MD, Oncologist Cancer Institute Dana-Farber in Boston, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, warns people against excessive anxiety.
"The most important thing - to find a doctor whom you can trust and with whom you will find a common language. If the doctor is not in doubt and understands your needs, it's a good sign. " In cancer treatment, as in most types of medical care is very important experience. "Clinics and doctors who are familiar with your type of cancer, often provide treatment with an understanding of the case, which will meet not all" - says Bernstein.
There are other circumstances that should be taken into account. For example, see a doctor, who recommended you personal physician or someone from relatives or friends. Also, make sure that your doctor has extensive experience in treating your type of cancer. Read articles about issues that you can ask your doctor about what the character should have your doctor before you begin to search for it.
In most cases, your oncologist will work closely with the nurse. You may find that you communicate with your nurse more frequently than other specialists.
"Doctors are often very focused on the treatment. Nurses also who know the patient very well, have an additional idea of his status from a wider point of view. It is therefore important to have an effective team of doctors, nurses, administrative staff, which together provide health care to you "- says Bernstein.
Eiji says that for many people, doctors and nurses - the basis of the team. These people accompany you throughout the treatment period. Just make sure you know who they are.
"When people have cancer diagnosed, they need to visit so many professionals in a short period of time, which many do not even know who their doctor" - says Buckner. "This is a problem. If you have any doubts, just ask. It may seem that this is a stupid question, but you need to know who coordinates your care and who to call with questions. "
In some cases, an oncologist and a nurse may be the only professionals that you need. But in most cases you will need to help more professionals. So, who else you need to visit? It depends entirely on your condition. If a patient undergoing radiation therapy, he needs to visit an oncologist-radiologist. If you need surgery, you will need to visit a surgeon, oncologist or surgeon general practitioner who specializes in treating cancer.
In addition to doctors, a vital role in the formation of your team's play and other professionals. "Caring for people with cancer always starts with the medical staff, but quickly goes beyond it" - says Bernstein. Cancer treatment is not limited to fighting the disease itself, it is intended to ensure that the person during the treatment felt as good as possible.
For example, during the treatment should focus on overall health. A dietitian can help make sure you get all the nutrients needed during treatment, which can carry heavy, especially if the chemotherapy makes you sick. A physical therapist will help maintain strength during treatment or to restore them afterwards.
Also, you will be much easier to be treated if you are emotionally healthy. You might not think that the therapist or social worker plays an important role in the team, but often it is. Cancer can have on you is very strong psychological impact. During treatment, many people are depressed or anxious. Talk to someone at one of the most exciting so you can be very helpful. Sometimes family members also need to meet with a therapist or social worker.
As more and more used in the treatment of cancer complementary therapies such as acupuncture and massage. Usually they are not intended to treat the disease. But they can ease side effects and improve quality of life. They may even reduce the number of medications that you need for treatment. In some clinics, cancer centers and specialists in acupuncture and massage therapists are already working in the state, and may coordinate treatment with your doctor.
It may seem that you need a lot of time to gather information about each specialist. Fortunately, it is not.
"In your treatment will involve as many people as it is practically impossible to gather information about each of them" - says Bernstein. It is therefore important that you have a doctor you like and whom you trust, because he or she will direct you to other specialists. This is beneficial because your team will work more efficiently if all the specialists worked together before.
"Usually, the doctor already has a group of people with whom he is constantly working" - said Bernstein. "So you do not need to look up each expert independently."
On the other hand, if you already have someone in mind - a surgeon, oncologist, who liked your sister, or a registered dietitian with whom you worked before - tell your doctor. If from this you will be calmer, ask the person involved in your care. By the same token, if you do not like someone from the specialist to whom you sent a doctor, tell him about it. Ask him to refer you to another specialist.
It is important that your team worked debugged. "It's hard to overestimate the presence of a cancer patient team of specialists who can work well together" - tells Bernstein.
The big advantage of treatment in a specialized center or clinic is great that you have the opportunity to visit any specialist from the oncologist to a nutritionist in one place. "It will be easier for you and help reduce disagreements and misunderstandings that may arise between health care workers" - says Buckner. However, you can have excellent medical care, if you still have to go to different medical centers.
You must be sure that you get the necessary treatment
Your team should provide you with the necessary treatment. People who are engaged in your treatment, should regularly check to make sure that your physical and mental condition as best as possible.
But this does not mean that you need absolutely to rely on experts. You should take an active part in their treatment. You're not just a patient - you are an active member of the team.
"Our goal - to make treatment as easy, comfortable and successful as possible" - said Eiji. "But patients need to tell us what they need."
If you are undergoing treatment for cancer, things can change from day to day, every week. Today you feel great, and now you have terrible side effects. Or you may suddenly realize that your schedule of chemotherapy is not consistent with other procedures. If you keep your doctor informed of your team can make small changes in treatment, to invite new experts, if necessary. Do not hesitate to ask for help.
Never underestimate your own role in treatment. If you need something, what your team does not give you, say so openly.
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