7 Key Steps to Choosing Your Cancer Doctor

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Approximately 40 percent of people will get cancer in their lifetime. While there are measures you can take to reduce your risk, it’s not always possible to prevent it.

When seeking treatment, you’ll want to look for the best cancer doctor possible. But, not everyone is sure of what to keep in mind.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

1. Get a Referral

It can easily be overwhelming to find the ideal oncologist for you. Fortunately, though, you can use your primary care doctor as a resource to help you during your search.

By simply asking them for a referral, there’s a good chance you’ll learn about a professional in your area who may be able to help you. At the very least, you’ll be made aware of other doctors you can seek opinions from.

2. Meet With Multiple Doctors

As with most serious medical conditions, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from a different doctor. What one doctor sees as a sign of a serious problem, another doctor could interpret as a minor complication.

Since cancer is such a complicated and dangerous condition, it’s in your best interest to consult a handful of doctors to see what they have to say about it. Some medical professionals may not see much hope in the situation, while others may recommend aggressive treatment as soon as possible. 

3. Ask About Their Experience With Your Condition

It is essential to find an oncologist who has extensive experience in dealing with your type of cancer. It’s not unlikely for you to consult with a doctor who has a broad knowledge of different cancers but may not specialize in the type that you have.

This will give your treatment the greatest chance of success since they’ll be familiar with dealing with patients who exhibit the same symptoms and complications.

While there isn’t a particular number of years or patients that you should be looking for in a particular doctor, more is often better.

Be on the lookout for professionals who have been in the industry for a handful of decades and have treated hundreds of patients with the same type of cancer you’re experiencing.

4. How Qualified Are They?

Different doctors have different levels of qualification. For example, if you take two surgeons into consideration, one is likely to perform more surgeries per year on average.

While this isn’t to say that the surgeon who operates less frequently is any less experienced, you’ll need to find the best of the best when seeking treatment.

Other qualifications to look for include:

  • Being board-certified in the area of concentration
  • How many patients with your type of cancer of they’ve treated in the past
  • Statistics on their 30-day operative mortality rate
  • Information about their complication rates

Taking the time to research your potential medical professional can go a long way in determining how effective your treatment will be. 

5. Choose a Major Cancer Center

Many types of cancer treatment take place at cancer treatment centers. The larger and more funded the facility is, the better your treatment will be in most cases.

So, it’s important to keep this into consideration when choosing a hospital to work with.

On average, it’s worth traveling a further distance to reach a major cancer center  (such as Sunridge Medical) as opposed to seeking treatment at a local hospital that might not have as much funding or access to the right technology.

If you’re unsure about what type of cancer center you should be looking into, you can consult your primary care doctor for their opinion. You can also conduct independent research on your type of condition to see what centers have had the greatest success rate in treating it.

6. Consider Taking part in a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are new forms of treatment that are based on recent research. So, while they don’t have historically proven effectiveness, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be viable options for you.

This is especially true for types of cancers that are notoriously difficult to treat, such as pancreatic.

If you found yourself unsure of which path to take or can’t find another suitable form of treatment for you, a clinical trial is an option worth looking into.

7. Look for Treatment Centers the Offer a Broad Range of Solutions

Oftentimes, the best type of treatment comes from a handful of different methods and not a singular procedure.

This combination of surgery, radiation, and another form of treatment will typically provide optimal results. Additionally, a treatment center that engages in this level of care is staffed with professionals who are experts in each type.

So, you won’t be limited to only one or two people handling your condition.

Additionally, you should look for a facility that is recognized by the National Cancer Institute. These are often staffed with experienced doctors who are likely to determine the best path for you to take. 

Finding the Right Cancer Doctor Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about finding the right cancer doctor in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward making the best decision for you.

Want to learn more Health and lifestyle tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.