Right Oncologist

5 Important Considerations for Choosing the Right Oncologist

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the hardest things to hear. It can be emotional and stressful to handle the new information and proceed with a care plan.

One of the first things that you need to do after discovering you have cancer is to find an oncologist. The person that you choose will be in charge of your treatment and must inspire the trust and confidence you need to navigate this difficult time in your life. Consider these factors when you make your selection.

Communication and Comfort

One of the most important qualities to look for in an oncologist is communication style. Cancer treatment can be difficult and cause a number of anxieties. You want to choose a care provider with whom you feel comfortable speaking.

Successful treatment requires you to be completely open and honest about your symptoms. You should feel safe and able to ask any questions that you have, request clarification, and discuss your options. You are the one that is in control of your health and makes the decisions.

Referrals

Ask your family, friends, and medical care providers for referrals. If someone that you know and trust can highly recommend an oncologist’s capabilities and manner, then that could be a good place to start.

You can also read reviews and check in with support groups and ask others that have been through the same experience and can give you some good advice. Any time you find a likely candidate, schedule a consultation to see how you get along in person.

Credentials

The oncologist that you choose to oversee your cancer treatment should be fully certified and have the experience and skills needed to address your specific type of cancer. Do some research to find out about the training they have received, the schools they attended, and if they have any history of malpractice or questionable conduct.

Associated Facilities

The location of your cancer treatment can be incredibly important. Ask your preferred oncologist which facilities they are associated with, or if all treatments can be received in their own office. Look into the ratings of the centre or hospital, just the same as you would the physicians themselves. Does the facility have a good reputation? Are the providers and other personnel kind and welcoming?

You should also factor in the location. Your cancer treatment can cause some physical side effects that make travelling difficult. If possible, select a location that is close to where you live. This will make it easier to travel to and from appointments without overly taxing yourself.

Treatment Preferences

Aside from learning about your potential oncologist’s familiarity with your cancer type and suggested treatment, find out what their view is on supplemental therapies and lifestyle changes. Some doctors are more open to taking a holistic approach that incorporates practises such as strict healthy eating or the addition of alternative therapies.

If you are interested in combining your main treatment with additional practises to address stress, strengthen your body, and even manage uncomfortable side effects, then you need to discover if your chosen oncologist will support you in this. You want to be honest about everything that you are doing so that your providers can monitor your disease while they work together to provide the best support, advice, and treatments that they can give you.

A good oncologist will do more than treat your disease. He or she should be compassionate and show you the level of consideration you need to feel safe and comfortable. Take charge of your health by putting your needs first and putting some research and thought into your choice of an oncologist.

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