Effective cancer treatment requires excellent communication between the patient and their physician, so everyone understands what is happening and what to expect. The following tips will help you communicate better with your oncologist and cancer care team throughout your cancer journey.
Tips to Communicate Better with Your Oncologist and Cancer Care Specialists
Write down questions and concerns before your appointment.
Writing your questions down can help lower stress and anxiety, while ensuring you get the answers you need.
Bring a notebook, tape recorder or a friend with you.
To ensure that you fully understand all the information your oncologist and/or cancer care team provides, consider recording the conversation or taking notes to review later on. This will help give you the time you need to process complicated information and avoid repetitive conversations during future cancer appointments. Bring a family member or friend with you to appointments, so that they can help you remember information or provide a summary of what was discussed.
Ask where you can find additional information.
With so much information available about cancer on the Internet, it can be difficult to know what is true and what is false. Ask your cancer care team and/or oncologist to provide you with the most reliable resources so you can find the most accurate information possible.
Talk to your doctor about information you find.
As mentioned above, not all information found on the internet is reliable. Have open conversations with your doctor, so he/she can tell you if the information you find about the disease is accurate.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are confused.
A cancer diagnosis and treatment plan can be confusing, especially when new options like clinical trials come into play. Be sure to tell your oncologist if you don’t understand something and have him/her explain it again. At Comprehensive Cancer Centers, we want to make sure that you understand everything, so you are fully informed throughout your cancer journey. This will help facilitate a better relationship between doctor and patient.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
As cancer-fighting specialists, we know how important it is that patients fully understand their disease. Remember, there are no unintelligent questions when it comes to your health. We will answer any and all questions you have, so don’t be afraid to ask. Keep communication with your cancer care team and oncologists as open as possible. Ask the tough questions you have so they know what you are thinking and can help accordingly. Often times the answers will put you at ease.
At Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, we are all on the same team fighting for you. It’s important for us to keep the lines of communication open at all times. Visit www.cccnevada.com to learn more about our dedication to fighting cancer, one patient at a time.