A cancer diagnosis can be a very scary piece of news to receive. While being diagnosed with cancer is not the same life-threatening condition it used to be, doctors and researchers are still quite far from finding a way to address the disease in all humans. Some types of cancer are more aggressive than others, while some can be put into remission with relative ease.
Although there are many things that you’ll want to do after getting diagnosed with cancer, finding an oncologist you can trust should be at the top of the list. It’s worth noting that even if an oncologist gives you your diagnosis, that doesn’t mean that you have to choose them as your doctor for treatment. Here are some factors to consider as you look for the right oncologist for you and your condition.
Experience is one of the first things you should prioritize in your search for a good oncologist. This applies no matter what kind of cancer you’re facing, since finding someone to give you excellent breast cancer treatment is the same as finding someone capable of helping you fight lung cancer. Education and years of service are two important aspects of determining whether or not your doctor’s experience level matches your comfort in picking them.
For example, a doctor with over a decade of experience likely has many case studies and past experiences to draw on as they work with you to fight your disease. That being said, a younger doctor from a reputable school and with a strong residency may also be worth pursuing. This is because younger students will likely have been exposed to newer treatments and philosophies.
Because you will be spending so much time with your oncologist for ongoing monitoring and other appointments, you should get along with them, too. A lot of research has shown that bedside manner can have a major role to play in how seriously you adhere to your treatment and even how you do on that treatment. If you have a dry sense of humor, finding a doctor with a similar attitude may make facing cancer much more bearable for you.
On the contrary, if you need someone more traditional and by the book who is willing to explain things to you in-depth, someone who uses humor in the office will likely be a poor match. The best way to determine how you feel about any oncologist is to talk to them and ask them about anything you have questions about. How they speak with you and address your concerns will give you the information you need to make the right decision for you and your family.
If you’re still on the fence about the doctors you’re considering, a quick search on a website like GoLookUp may be able to give you peace of mind. Just confirming that a medical practitioner doesn’t have a criminal record and has graduated from the schools they claim to have attended can put you at ease during such a stressful time in your life.
Remember that even if you’ve started treatment with one oncologist, if you feel like you’d be more comfortable seeking care from someone else, that is completely within your rights. It’s a simple enough task to transfer your medical records and treatment regimen to another doctor or hospital. Just make sure that the new doctor is still in your health insurance network so you avoid having to contend with higher medical fees for the same treatment.
Although frightening, a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Finding a doctor who meets your needs can go a long way in you finding success in your battle against your disease, so make sure to spend time evaluating your options before you choose an oncologist.