Thursday, September 21, 2017

2nd opinions, knowing right questions are key

Hospital network offers cancer patients, especially those in advanced stage, four tips

Sometimes good information comes from unexpected places.

Like an old ad.

Case in point: I just found a piece on a Time magazine website that was reprinted from Cancer Treatment Centers of America,  a network of five hospitals in five states.

It contends that "breakthroughs unimaginable a generation ago are now saving lives as a matter of course."

And it suggests "four things every cancer patient must do."

They are: Get a second opinion, find the right doctors, know the questions to ask, and stay strong for the fight.

Regarding second opinions, the piece maintains that those consults provide an opportunity "to better understand additional needs like nutritional planning, the management of side effects, and the power of family support during cancer treatment.

Dr. George Daneker Jr.
The piece quotes Dr. George Daneker Jr., CTCA's chief medical officer, to the effect that "more advances in cancer treatment have been made in the past five years than in the past 50" but initial diagnoses are not always right. 

Twelve percent of patients are actually misdiagnosed, the article says.

As to finding the right docs, it notes that "fully one out of five patients who receive a cancer diagnosis learn their disease is already advanced stage [and] frequently require more comprehensive care from a dedicated team that should include a medical oncologist, surgical or radiation oncologist [if appropriate], registered dietitian, naturopathic oncology provider, and other clinicians."

When it comes to knowing what to ask, the CTCA lists 10 questions it considers crucial, including "What happens if a treatment approach doesn't work for me?"

Staying strong may not be an easy task, the article inidicates, because "69% of cancer patients have health issues beyond their cancer…and fully eight out of ten people living with cancer are also malnourished."

The treatment centers also assert that "the one consistent enabling truth in the fight against cancer throughout the years has always been this: Knowledge is power."

I certainly concur.

And in that regard, I'd like to promote my VitalityPress book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," which I aimed at male caregivers and which I'm convinced is chock full of information that can become powerful knowledge.

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