Finding the Best Oncologist for Your Cancer Treatment and Care

Choosing a doctor is a huge decision, and everyone has a list of preferences and traits they would like their doctor to have. After your cancer diagnosis, finding the right oncologist can be critical. You are putting your life in the hands of the doctor you’ll be choosing, and it becomes more stressful determining the doctor or facility that will be ideal for your care and survival.

Here are tips to keep in mind when looking for your oncologist:

  • Recommendations from your initial physician – The doctor who conducted your diagnosis will be able to recommend the best oncologists who specialize in the type of cancer you have or may provide options for cancer centers in your area.
  • Understand your treatment options – Knowing your treatment options can help you narrow down your search for a specialist. Most patients work with three primary kinds of specialists including surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. Medical oncologists have specialized training in areas such as surgery, chemotherapy and more targeted therapies and will provide supportive care and also coordinate with other specialists working on your case. Surgical and radiation oncologists are specialized in surgery and radiation therapy. The oncologist you require will depend on the treatment option that you need.
  • Find a treatment center with a multidisciplinary approach – Instead of looking for a specialist, try to find a treatment facility that uses a multidisciplinary approach in treating cancer. This will help you receive input from different cancer experts, and you’ll be helped by various specialists including medical oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses, radiation oncologists and social workers. These experts work together to come up with the best treatment plan for your case.
  • Consider a clinical trial – From the day of your diagnosis of cancer, ask about the possibility of joining a clinical trial. Clinical trials are research studies that test several new ways of treating cancer and your involvement may not only increase your chances of cure but will also help to improve cancer treatments and outcomes for other patients in future.

Your search for an oncologist may be narrowed by understanding what your health insurance is going to cover. The financial aspect is important in this case because cancer treatment is costly. After choosing your doctor, it’s essential that you ask questions regarding your treatment and what to expect.

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