Decisions On Cancer Treatment Can Be Tough – Take The Right Move!

Decisions On Cancer Treatment Can Be Tough – Take The Right Move!
December 25, 2023 by admin

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you need to make several decisions regarding treatment with the help of your family members. It could be a challenging task for you because of the feelings of anxiety that you go through, unfamiliar words, the statistics you will come across, and a feeling of urgency. If your situation is not extremely urgent, you must take some time to research the options available to you, ask questions, and discuss them with your family or friends before deciding on a treatment plan. It also pays to consult with a specialist at the best cancer hospital in Chennai.

Decisions as regards cancer treatment are always personal. You should feel comfortable when making your choices. However, many patients may not know how or where to start. Here are a few simple but important aspects you must keep in mind when going through the decision-making process.

Understanding your diagnosis

Treatment plans for cancer patients will depend on the cancer type and stage. It is, therefore, important that you learn a little bit about your diagnosis. You must ask the health care team you are working with about your condition in detail. However, you must exercise caution when doing research online. This is because the information provided by many sites is inaccurate or misleading and can scare you. You can find out from your health care team which websites are trustworthy and provide correct information. If you happen to come across words that are not familiar to you when researching online, you can make use of a medical dictionary or check with the healthcare team you are consulting to explain them to you.

Knowing your options

Again, the doctor or health care team you are working with, is the best source for understanding your treatment options for your cancer type and the stage you are in. The treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Active surveillance or watchful waiting
  • Taking part in a clinical trial
  • Palliative care

Understanding the treatment goals

The best oncologists in Chennai you are working with may use treatments to slow down or stop the progress of cancer or eliminate it altogether. Your doctor may also recommend palliative or supportive care to manage your symptoms and the side effects of the treatment. However, it is of utmost importance that you seek an explanation from your doctor as regards the goals of the treatment plan he recommends in your case and what will be its impact. Besides, you must make sure that it is aligned with your own treatment goals.

Enquire and understand the side-effects of different treatment options

Sometimes, cancer treatments cause long-term side effects. These effects may develop in a matter of months or years after treatment. Check with your cancer care provider about the potential long-term effects of different treatment options and how they can be managed. Furthermore, you must discuss the possibility of experiencing sexual or reproductive problems with your health care provider team, including aspects related to the risk of not being able to have kids. You may have options that may allow you to maintain your fertility. So, it is absolutely important to address this concern prior to starting your treatment. You should not wait till the completion of your treatment programme to address this issue.

Consider the benefits and risks of different treatment options

Weigh the pros and cons of the different treatment options that are recommended in your specific case, including:

  • The chances of a cure
  • Potential side effects
  • The chances of cancer not coming back after treatment
  • Possibility of surviving for a longer time with/without treatment
  • The effect of the treatment on the quality of your life and independence
  • Yours and your family’s preferences

Seek the opinion of another specialist

Many patients seek the opinions of a couple of different doctors. Many oncologists encourage patients to get a second or even a third opinion. This is because different oncologists may have had different experiences with recommended treatments. Therefore, seeking multiple opinions might help you make an informed decision or even confirm the currently recommended treatment plan. Additionally, you must check with your health insurance provider if your health policy provides coverage for the health issue that you are experiencing and whether the hospital approves the same.

Decide on a plan for managing your cancer care expenses

The cost involved in cancer care is generally high, and you may even have unexpected expenses. Your health care provider at the best cancer hospital in Chennai will help you understand the costs related to each of the treatment options and suggest ways and means to manage your medical expenses. They may even refer you to support service providers that help patients address their financial concerns.

Read cancer treatment guidelines or use special decision-making tools

These guidelines and tools help health care professionals and patients understand different treatment options that are currently available. Also, discuss treatment recommendations, keeping in mind the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with.

Discuss your decision to undergo treatment with people you respect and trust.

Some people may find it helpful if they share their concerns and thoughts with people they respect and trust. They may include:

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • A spiritual leader/advisor
  • A social worker
  • Another person who has survived cancer

Understand that statistics have a role to play

When discussing the treatment options and other aspects, your doctor might mention statistics about treatment outcomes. These may include statistics related to disease-free survival rates, survival rates, and progression-free survival rates. This statistical data could be useful for learning about or evaluating treatment options. Statistical data tells you how well the various treatment options will pan out in your case. Your doctor will explain how these statistics are related to your treatment.

In conclusion, it is normal for patients to feel overwhelmed and anxious because of the amount of information they have been provided with. However, you must make sure that you have got the answers to all your questions so that you can have a clear understanding of what can happen if you choose to undergo a specific treatment plan in your fight against cancer.

Some people might tell you that undergoing cancer treatment is worse than the dreaded condition itself. It is a fact that getting through cancer treatment is a tough task, but not getting treated enables some types of cancer to grow unchecked. Untreated cancer can often worsen your symptoms and may even be fatal. Besides, getting treatment immediately after the diagnosis often works better for many types of cancer.

Sugam Hospital

The Department of Oncology in Sugam Hospital provides comprehensive cancer care. We have an experienced team of oncology and radiology specialists, including radiologists and medical and surgical oncologists, who will determine and recommend the best line of treatment for your specific case. To help patients cope with the high level of stress they undergo, we provide additional counselling and support as part of the holistic treatment we provide at Sugam.

Services offered by the oncology department at Sugam include conventional and high-dose chemotherapy, surgical oncology, haemato-oncology, palliative care, preventive oncology/cancer screening, and paediatric oncology, as well as diagnostic services such as MRI, CT scan, mammogram, and histopathology. Finally, Sugam has one of the best diagnostic labs in Chennai.