If you have cancer…(Cancer Tips)

…see a CERTIFIED oncologist.   The real ones tend to work in teams, with specifically-trained surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, & allied services.  Ultimately, you may not need all specialties, but these guys serve as each others' check & balance.  Its best to go to a cancer treatment center with multidisciplinary guidelines but, short of that, get several opinions.

"Cancer Surgeon" on a card is no indication of experience or formal training.  Ask your favorite radiation & medical oncologists who the best surgeons are for you– then look them up & check them out!

If you are a competent adult, you are responsible for your own health to a very large degree.  Do the research & exercise great caution.  Be critical when you're given an opinion, and doctors who know their stuff will appreciate it.

You must get your cancer treated optimally that first time, especially if you're talking (however remotely) about a cure.  Should relapse set in, subsequent "salvage"  programs may not be as successful, and they're usually tougher.  So, play it smart:  invest your resources at the start.  Ultimately, its cheaper that way too.

Oncology in the community setting (vs trial setting) is evidence-based.  There are statistics on response (tumor control) rates, adverse effects, etcetera.  Confused?  How do you know if the info you're given is accurate?
What every patient should browse…
Sample: "What is the current standard of care?"; "What are the other options?"
  • "Expensive" or "new" does not always mean "better".   That's true in more instances than you'd think.  Like any investment, seek to justify costs.
  • Complete disappearance of a tumor does not always mean cure or a longer survival time.  Ask about the goals & endpoints of your cancer treatment.  ?Cure  ?Palliation
  • When planning the budget for a chemotherapy series, consider that receiving just a few costly "best" treatments may not be as beneficial as completing the set of an "acceptable" alternative at tenable costs.

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