CancerTreatments.org is a doctor reviewed informational resource for learning about cancer and different types of treatment . Most importantly, CancerTreatments.org provides a growing searchable database of cancer treatment providers by type and by state, city or zip code with a profile written by the provider themselves.
A cancer diagnosis creates many unknowns. Patients, family, and friends soon discover a bewildering array of information, some useful and accurate and some very misleading. Additionally, not all cancer specialists and doctors have the same training, education and experience. An oncologist is generalized name of doctors that specialize in cancer treatment. The great variety of cancer diseases and diversity of patients and situations means there is no one-stop shop for cancer information. Because there are various forms of cancer treatment, this specialty is further refined into surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. Multiple methods will often be needed to effectively treat the cancer, and a treatment team may include doctors in all three specialties.
You will likely be referred to a specialist by your primary care physician. However, if you are interested in getting additional opinions you may have to find a cancer specialist yourself.
Knowledge plays a significant role in determining the cancer experience. Patients and families who are knowledgeable about their disease feel empower erred and are able to make informed decisions. You then need to evaluate the specialists to determine if they will be the right fit.
Ask about the doctor’s medical training and education. What schools did he or she attend? Do they have any recently published journal articles pertaining to the specific cancer that you have been diagnosed with? While not available for all cancer specialties, additional medical certifications indicate a commitment to the field.
Ask the doctor about his or her specific experience with the type of cancer that you have been diagnosed with. Approximately how many cases do they treat annually? Request mortality statistics for patients treated with similar conditions. While there is no set number of previous cases the doctor should have treated, it is important that you feel confident that the doctor has had successful experiences in the past.
Does the doctor use the hospital that I have chosen? How approachable is the doctor? If he or she is unwilling or reluctant to answer questions in the initial stages, it is not likely that the process will become easier after months of treatment. Find out if there is a help line in case you have concerns after normal business hours.
Getting a Second Opinion
Once you receive your doctor’s opinion about the diagnosis and treatment plan, you may want to get another doctor’s advice before you begin treatment. This is known as getting a second opinion. You can do this by asking another specialist to review all of the materials related to your case. A second opinion can confirm or suggest modifications to your doctor’s proposed treatment plan, provide reassurance that you have explored all of your options, and answer any questions you may have.
Getting a second opinion is done frequently, and most physicians welcome another doctor’s views. In fact, your doctor may be able to recommend a specialist for this consultation. However, some people find it uncomfortable to request a second opinion. When discussing this issue with your doctor, it may be helpful to express satisfaction with your doctor’s decision and care and to mention that you want your decision about treatment to be as thoroughly informed as possible. You may also wish to bring a family member along for support when asking for a second opinion. It is best to involve your doctor in the process of getting a second opinion, because your doctor will need to make your medical records (such as your test results and x-rays) available to the specialist.
Find a specialist by cancer type near you if you have been diagnosed with cancer or need cancer screening.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this web site is for informational purposes only and is not medical or behavioral health care advice. Always seek qualified licensed professionals for your health issues. CancerTreatment.org does not endorse or make any warranty as to the quality of providers listed, or their current license status. Conduct your own independent investigation of this website's information and your choice of healthcare provider.