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Kamis, 22 Mei 2014


10 Tips for Receiving an Accurate Cancer Diagnosis
  • Get the facts about your cancer diagnosis. The more you understand about your cancer diagnosis, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions about treatment. Learn about your type of cancer, its size, location and if it has spread. Find out if it’s slow-growing or aggressive. Ask your doctor for patient education materials and resources.
  • Choose your cancer team carefully. Find a hospital/facility that has experts in your form of cancer and advanced technology to diagnose and treat the disease. Also, find a cancer team that includes clinicians from many different disciplines who collaborate on a regular basis to evaluate your status using advanced diagnostic tools.
  • Seek individualized care. Every cancer diagnosis is unique. Even the same type of cancer can grow at different rates and respond differently to the same treatments. What works for one may not work for another. You should have access to diagnostic tools that precisely identify and pinpoint the disease so your doctor can plan the most effective treatment.
  • Take an active role in the process. You can take charge of your health by working cooperatively with your cancer team and asserting your needs. Ask ahead of time about the diagnostic testing you’ll need and how you can prepare for it. Ask for test results in a timely manner. Make sure you understand next steps before leaving your doctor's office.
  • Consider a second opinion. You may want to get a second or third opinion before beginning treatment. Most doctors understand the value of a second opinion when facing major decisions. A second opinion can help you feel more confident in the accuracy of your diagnosis, or, in some cases, it can reveal inaccuracies and ensure treatments better suited to your needs.
  • Get the most out of your appointments. Naturally, you may find it difficult to retain all the information you receive after a cancer diagnosis. Write down the questions you want answered ahead of time. Whenever possible, bring someone with you to appointments. They can think of questions you may not have thought to ask and take notes for you.
  • Ask questions about your diagnosis. An important part of dealing with your cancer diagnosis is asking questions and clarifying what you don’t understand. If your doctor uses medical terms you don’t understand, ask him or her to explain it in another way. Try repeating what you think was said back to your doctor for confirmation. Here are some questions you may decide to ask:
    • What kind of diagnostic tests do I need?
    • What can I expect from diagnostic testing?
    • How long will it take to get the results?
    • How soon can I start treatment after diagnostic testing?
    • How will I know if treatment is working?
    • How can I stay on top of a recurrence?
  • Communicate with your doctors. Communication with your cancer team is essential to understanding your diagnosis and making informed treatment decisions. Ask about what was uncovered during the diagnostic process and the treatment options that are available to you. Find out the best way to reach your care team if you have questions from home.
  • Schedule follow-up visits. Once you complete treatment, make sure to schedule the necessary follow-up visits with your cancer team. During these visits, your doctor will use diagnostic tests to identify any changes in your condition and stay on top of any metastasis or recurrence. These appointments may occur more often at first and then less frequently.
  • Don't give up. If you have been given no further options after a cancer diagnosis, it does not necessarily mean that other options don't exist. Remember, there are other doctors that may present a different picture. Some hospitals may be able to provide more advanced technology and resources that can help you.

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