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Newly Diagnosed Cancer Questions

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Though there are “no stupid questions”  for those newly diagnosed cancer patients, as the article linked below says some questions are much better, much more helpful,  than others.

I believe a long-term survivor of an incurable cancer will figure out the best questions for you and your type and stage of cancer.

I want to begin this post by agreeing with Dr. Giles, below, when she says that the time after diagnosis can be overwhelming for patients. No question. This is why it is in the patient’s best interest to ask the right questions for him or her.

The questions below are a starting point for what the newly diagnosed cancer patient should be thinking about-

  1. What type and stage of cancer do I have?
    • Understanding the specific type and stage of cancer is crucial for determining the appropriate treatment plan.
  2. What are the treatment options available for my type of cancer?
    • Discuss the different treatment modalities such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy.
  3. What is the goal of treatment?
    • Clarify whether the treatment aims for a cure, control of the disease, or symptom management.
  4. What are the potential side effects of the proposed treatments?
    • Understanding potential side effects helps patients prepare for and manage the impact of treatment on their daily lives.
  5. How will the treatment affect my quality of life?
    • Discuss the potential impact on daily activities, work, and overall well-being.
  6. What is the expected timeline for my treatment?
    • Gain an understanding of the duration of each treatment phase and the overall timeline.
  7. Are there any clinical trials or experimental treatments available for my condition?
    • Inquire about any ongoing clinical trials or emerging treatments that may be suitable for your specific cancer type.
  8. What support services are available for cancer patients?
    • Ask about support groups, counseling, or other resources that can help you cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of cancer.
  9. How will my treatment be coordinated with other healthcare professionals?
    • Understand how your oncologist will collaborate with other specialists, such as surgeons, radiologists, or pathologists.
  10. What lifestyle changes can I make to support my treatment and recovery?
    • Discuss potential changes in diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors that may positively impact your overall health.
  11. What is the cost of treatment, and what is covered by insurance?
    • Understand the financial aspects of your treatment, including potential out-of-pocket expenses and insurance coverage.
  12. How often will I have follow-up appointments, and what monitoring will be done?
    • Discuss the frequency of follow-up visits and any necessary imaging or laboratory tests to monitor your progress.

I say the above questions are only a starting point because, for example, it is premature for the newly diagnosed cancer patient to be asking about clinical trials.

In addition, if your oncologist is a board-certified oncologist, he/she will know little if anything about evidence-based non-conventional therapies such as:

  • nutrition
  • supplementation
  • complementary therapies
  • integrative therapies
  • alternative therapies

When I say this, I am not criticizing conventional oncology. I’m simply stating a fact. Conventional oncology adheres strictly to Food and Drug Administration guidelines. The newly diagnosed cancer patients goals may or may not align with the FDA’s standard-of-care approach to cancer care.

According to research, when the newly diagnosed cancer patient asks pointed, knowledgable question, he/she is communicating to the oncologist that he/she is smart and knowledable and has the effect of putting the oncologist on notice.

Are you a newly diagnosed cancer patient? What type, stage of cancer are you diagnosed with? What symptoms are you experiencing? Let me know- David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

No Stupid Questions’ for Newly Diagnosed Patients With Cancer

“In a recent interview, Giles explained that the time after diagnosis can be extremely overwhelming for patients, as they navigate treatment options and side effects. By becoming educated about their disease and joining a group of individuals who have gone through something similar, this burden can be a bit easier to bear, Giles said…

It’s all about getting the right information. And like I said, the most vulnerable time for a patient is after diagnosis when they have been told that they have cancer, in this case. And (regarding) the choice that they make the treatment that they start, there is a huge amount (of decisions) … often just a few short weeks.

And in those that period of time, the patient has to become essentially an expert in their disease condition and figure out all the options plus perhaps what their doctors may not be telling them…

There are no wrong answers, no stupid questions. And it’s important to be aware that your options are what they are and that they’re the right options, that they’re guidelines that they’re compliant to the guidelines, make sure that you’re getting what you should be getting. And but typically, that’s not a problem. It’s just occasionally and just ask questions…”



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