Optimizing Treatment

Here are steps you can take to optimize your cancer treatment:

Get informed.

A new diagnosis of cancer can be a shock, making the patient and family members feel out of control and overwhelmed. Getting informed can help alleviate these feelings.

Seek out many resources to investigate treatment options for your type and stage of cancer. Consult your doctor with questions from the section, “Questions to Ask.”

Stay organized.

Develop a system for keeping all the information you gather organized, such as laboratory and test results, admissions and consultation information, and additional instructions. Keep a folder or three–ring binder with all your information in one location.

Discuss the effectiveness of treatment.

It is important that you and your caregivers evaluate treatment options to understand how cancer treatments are compared, so that you can work with your healthcare team to make informed treatment choices.

Understanding the goals of a specific therapy, as well as the risks and benefits it poses, will help you decide which treatment is most appropriate for your situation.

Select your optimal treatment. 

Cancer treatment varies depending upon your type of cancer, stage of cancer, and overall condition.  Additionally, treatment options may vary depending on whether or not the goal of treatment is to cure the cancer, keep the cancer from spreading, or to relieve the symptoms caused by cancer.

You and your physician will consider all of these factors as you work on selecting your optimal treatment.

Form a support network. 

Fighting cancer is not a challenge you should face alone. It is a team effort that involves family, friends, and your healthcare team. Don’t overlook the strength that can come from having your support network by your side. There are support groups for both men and women at the hospital.  

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