Tips for Selecting an Oncologist

No one ever wants to hear the word “cancer,” but unfortunately it happens all too often. With millions of Americans diagnosed with various forms of the disease each year, the need to locate and work with specialists that can help sufferers beat the disease is vital.

If you have a need to seek out an oncologist to consult on a case or lead up lifesaving treatments, chances are you have a lot of questions about how to find the very best. Here are some tips that can help you:

• Get referrals – The best place to start the search for an oncology specialist is with your actual personal doctor. He or she is going to know practitioners in your area or near to it who are experts in helping patients survive and thrive. Be sure to get the names of those doctors your personal physician believes are the best.

• Do some homework – It doesn’t hurt to do some checking around for yourself, as well. Vet the names the doctor has given you and look for specialists who are well versed in treating the kind of cancer you are facing. Ideally, you’ll want a specialist that has a great deal of experience in the field.

• Look for larger practices – Oftentimes, patients find they are more comfortable working with cancer centers that represent a multitude of doctors who each have their own distinct specialties. This can be quite helpful in finding skilled practitioners who have immediate access to other specialists that can all work on a case to ensure the best possible outcome.

• Look for those skilled in multiple treatment options – Cancer isn’t a one treatment fits all kind of disease. The best practices offer a variety of potential options for treating the disease. In the case of prostate cancer, for example, regular surgery might be one of the options, but seed implants, targeted radiation and other alternatives might also be possibilities an oncologist is comfortable performing.

• Go with your instincts – Even in its earliest stages, a diagnosis of cancer can be frightening. To ensure the best possible experience when battling the disease, pick a skilled oncologist who also happens to make you feel comfortable and confident about the path ahead. A good doctor will take the time to answer your questions and help you understand procedures, potential side effects and so on. Communication is critical and the best doctors know how put patients at ease.

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