Pancreatic cancer rising ...
Sep 5, 2019 -
As a patient or family member of someone who has cancer, we suggest that you learn
everything you can about your disease, the treatments available (both experimental and
standard) and the side effects of the treatments. Becoming educated about your
disease ensures that you will be able to make informed decisions about your treatment
options. It allows you to take an active role in your care and treatment.
Question, Question and Question
Come armed with questions about the disease, treatment and experience that the
doctor and hospital has, in treating your specific illness. You have the right to ask any
question that will affect your health and treatment of the disease. This means you have
the right to ask what experience and success your doctor has had, with treating the
particular cancer you have.
See Questions to Ask for sample questions.
Do not go to appointments alone
Patients afflicted with such serious diseases are often advised to not attend meetings
alone. It is difficult enough accepting that you have cancer…… understanding,
comprehending and remembering all the information about the disease and treatment is
even more difficult. Remembering and keeping straight all the information, without that
second set of ears can become frustrating and overwhelming for the patient.
Keep a Journal
There will be many things to remember, so it is suggested that you keep notes, so you
that you can refer back to them when needed. Many doctors and nurses will be meeting
with you regularly, so you need to ensure that they are all on the “same page.” It is
extremely important that you keep the facts straight, as human error can occur, even
amongst the best health care workers. Keeping a journal on each meeting or discussion
will assist you in keeping the facts straight and will assist in straightening out any
oversights or misunderstandings.
Be an advocate for your loved one
Quite often our loved ones, who are fighting cancer, no longer feel like themselves.
They feel overwhelmed, confused, anger, depressed etc., and may no longer be their
best advocates. Family and friends are often encouraged to take on this active
advocacy role, during the treatment of their loved one. Becoming involved in the
decisions of all treatment will often ensure that your loved one is getting the best care
This is your body and your health that is at risk. Do not be scared to speak up and ask
for something, even if you do not think it is possible. You have the right to ask for what
you need and want in your health care. You may not get what you want, but you may
find out where you could get what you need.
Don't be afraid to seek a second opinion. Respectable Doctors expect that you will get a
second opinion. Your family doctor can usually refer you for your second opinion. Make
sure the care and treatment that you are getting is the best, for you. Know that you can
go outside of your province to get this care or outside of the country, if you so chose.
Clinical Trials are treatment programs that are available to patients looking for
alternative forms of treatment. These research programs are conducted with patients to
evaluate new medical treatments, drugs or devices with the hopes of creating new and
improved methods of treating different diseases. Ask your Doctor where you can look
into this further. Here is some additional information: Clinical Trials page
Cancer Care Nova Scotia is looking for input from cancer patients and family members: www.cancercare.ns.ca/cpfn
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