Things You Should Do If You Are Diagnosed With Cancer

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Support is crucial when facing a cancer diagnosis, especially when navigating the unfamiliar terrain that comes with it. At Houston Family Physicians Kirby and Houston Family Physicians Southwest locations, our team understands the importance of empowerment during this challenging time. Here, we provide you with a top 10 list of crucial actions to take if you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis. From gathering information about treatment options to seeking a second opinion and understanding insurance coverage, we are here to guide you through this journey with expertise and compassion. Let us walk you through the steps you should take when facing a cancer diagnosis.

Ask your doctor how much time you have to make a decision and begin treatment.

For those who have received a cancer diagnosis, confirming the timing of treatment is crucial. It is natural to feel the urge to take immediate action, but it is important to ask your doctor about the timeline for making decisions and starting treatment.

In most cases, there is time to gather more information, seek a second opinion, and discuss treatment options with a decision counseling expert. Take the time to understand the specifics of your diagnosis, including the exact name and stage of your cancer, as well as any potential biomarkers or genetic tests that could guide treatment decisions.

It is recommended to keep a notebook to jot down questions, concerns, and information provided by your healthcare team. If you are unsure where to start, consider using resources like Launchpad to receive personalized guidance based on your unique needs and interests.

Prepare a list of questions to bring to your appointments and discuss your personal goals with your healthcare team. Inquire about available treatment options, the goals of treatment, potential side effects, and how the treatment will be administered. It is within your right to seek second opinions and explore clinical trials early in your diagnosis.

Understanding the financial aspects of your cancer care is also imperative. Consult with a financial counselor or social worker to determine coverage for medical bills, treatment, and supportive care. Ensure that all healthcare professionals and facilities involved in your care are within your insurance network to avoid unexpected costs.

Additionally, acknowledge the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis and seek support from professionals like oncology social workers or navigators. They can assist with concerns ranging from managing stress and anxiety to discussing the impact of cancer on relationships, work, and finances.

Keep in mind, being your own advocate in healthcare decisions is crucial. Make sure you are actively involved in the decision-making process, that your values and preferences are considered, and that you are treated with respect and empathy throughout your cancer journey.

Know your exact cancer diagnosis and stage of disease.

Before making any decisions regarding your cancer diagnosis, it is crucial to gather all the facts. Start by asking your doctor specific questions such as the exact name and stage of your cancer. Inquire about any additional tests or biomarkers that could guide your treatment options. Write down all the information provided in a notebook for reference.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider taking a short survey like Launchpad to receive tailored resources based on your unique needs and interests. This can help point you in the right direction as you navigate through your diagnosis.

Make a list of questions and concerns to bring to your appointments with your healthcare team. Communicate your personal goals and wishes to ensure that your treatment plan aligns with your values. Encourage your healthcare provider to take notes during your appointments to facilitate better communication and understanding.

Seek Guidance

The moment you are diagnosed with cancer, seeking guidance is crucial.

To ensure a timely response from our team at Houston Family Physician, it is crucial that you confirm the timing of your cancer screening appointment. We understand the urgency and importance of taking action promptly when faced with a cancer diagnosis.

Address:
Houston Family Physicians Southwest: 8313 Southwest Fwy Ste. 105, Houston, Texas 77074
Houston Family Physicians Kirby: 8968 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas 77054
Houston Family Physicians East I-10: 340 N Sam Houston Pkwy E #244, Houston, Texas 77060
Houston Family Physicians Greenspoint: 12930 East Freeway, Houston, Texas 77015

Contact us today by calling or texting 281-704-3836 or filling out the Patient Care form on our Home page to schedule your cancer screening appointment. Our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way in your cancer screening process.

When facing a cancer diagnosis, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next. Seeking guidance from experienced healthcare professionals can provide you with the clarity and support you need to make informed decisions about your treatment plan. At Houston Family Physicians, our team is committed to helping you navigate the complex world of cancer care with compassion and expertise.

List Concerns

It is natural to have various concerns when faced with a cancer diagnosis. These concerns may range from understanding the exact nature of your cancer to contemplating treatment options and managing financial aspects. Below are some key concerns to consider when navigating through a cancer diagnosis:

1. Understanding the exact name and stage of your cancer is crucial as it will impact the treatment plan recommended by your healthcare team.

2. Inquire about any specific tests or biomarkers that could provide additional insights into your cancer type and guide treatment decisions.

3. Financial considerations play a significant role in your cancer journey. It is important to address questions about insurance coverage, co-pays, deductibles, and other related costs early on.

4. Emotionally, a cancer diagnosis can bring about feelings of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. It is crucial to seek support from professionals or resources that can assist with coping strategies.

5. Discussing treatment goals with your healthcare team is crucial. Understanding whether the aim is for a cure or symptom management will help align expectations.

6. Consider seeking a second opinion to explore different perspectives on your diagnosis and treatment options.

7. Clinical trials may offer innovative treatment approaches. Inquire about potential trial participation at the onset of your diagnosis.

8. Your personal preferences and values should be integrated into your treatment plan. Being your own advocate ensures that your voice is heard throughout your cancer journey.

9. Communication with your healthcare team is key. Prepare a list of questions and concerns to address during appointments and ensure clarity on all aspects of your care.

10. Explore additional resources and support services that can assist with practical challenges, emotional well-being, and overall navigation of your cancer experience.

Ask questions like:

  • What is the exact name of my cancer?
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Is there anything we know or can learn about my disease, such as a biomarker or genetic test, that will help guide my treatment decisions?
  • Gather the facts and write them down in a notebook.

Bring Support

There’s no denying that a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to face it alone. Bringing support with you to appointments can make a significant difference in how you process information and make decisions.

Having a trusted friend or family member by your side can provide emotional support, help you remember important details discussed during appointments, and offer a different perspective on the information shared by healthcare providers.

If attending appointments in person is not possible, consider asking your support person to join via phone (281-704-3836) or video call. Having someone else present can help ensure that nothing is overlooked and can help you feel more empowered in your interactions with your healthcare team.

At Houston Family Physician, support is always encouraged. Whether it’s for a routine check-up, cancer screening, or a follow-up appointment, having someone there to support you can make a world of difference in your cancer journey.

Do not forget, you are not alone in this fight. Allow your loved ones to be a source of strength and comfort as you navigate through the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

Understand Options

One of the most crucial steps after being diagnosed with cancer is to fully understand your treatment options. This includes knowing the exact name and stage of your cancer, as well as any additional information such as biomarkers or genetic tests that can guide your treatment decisions.

It is necessary to gather all the facts and write them down in a notebook for reference. Questions such as the goals of treatment, potential side effects, and how the treatment will be administered should be discussed with your healthcare team.

Consider seeking a second opinion from another healthcare provider, especially in a different cancer center or academic medical center. This can help you explore all available care options and stay informed about new scientific advancements in cancer treatment.

Additionally, inquire about clinical trials as a potential treatment option early on. Understanding the financial aspect of your treatment is equally important. Consult with a financial counselor or social worker to determine coverage for doctor visits, hospital bills, medications, and other supportive care.

Remember that being well-informed and actively involved in your treatment decisions is crucial. Advocate for yourself to ensure that your values, preferences, and priorities are considered in your care. Transparency and honesty in the options presented to you are key, as well as being viewed as a whole person and not just a patient.

Questions can include:

  • How well has the treatment been shown to work in my type of cancer?
  • What are the potential side effects of the treatment and how are they prevented or managed?
  • How will the treatment be given?
  • How often will my treatment be given?
  • How much will my insurance pay for the treatment and all of the surrounding care and how much will I have to pay myself?

Consider Trials

While facing a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, it is important to explore all treatment options available, including clinical trials. Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate new approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of different types of cancer. Participating in a clinical trial can provide access to cutting-edge treatment options that may not be available through standard care.

At Houston Family Physicians Kirby and Houston Family Physicians Southwest, we encourage patients to consider clinical trials as part of their treatment journey. Our dedicated team of cancer screening specialists is committed to providing comprehensive care and support to all patients, including information on available clinical trials.

By participating in a clinical trial, you not only have the opportunity to access innovative treatments but also contribute to the advancement of cancer research. It is important to discuss the possibility of participating in a clinical trial with your healthcare provider to determine if it is a suitable option for your specific diagnosis and treatment plan.

Here, our Houston Family Doctors are well-versed in the latest advancements in cancer screening, treatment and research. They can help guide you through the process of considering clinical trials and provide you with the support and information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment options.

Review Insurance

Unlike other medical conditions, a cancer diagnosis can bring about a significant financial burden. It is crucial to review your insurance coverage and understand what is included in your plan. At Houston Family Physicians Kirby and Houston Family Physicians Southwest, located at 8968 Kirby, we understand the importance of financial preparedness when facing a cancer diagnosis. Our team at Cancer Screening, Houston Family Doctors, is here to guide you through the process.

Before starting any treatment, it is vital to check with your insurance provider to see what cancer treatments, surgeries, medications, and supportive care are covered under your plan. Discuss co-pays, deductibles, and any other out-of-pocket expenses you may incur during your treatment journey. Ensure that all healthcare professionals and locations of care are within your network to avoid any unexpected costs.

If you have any concerns about how to navigate the financial aspects of your cancer care, our team at Cancer Screening, Houston Family Doctors, is available to provide guidance. We can help you understand your insurance coverage, explore financial assistance options, and ensure that you have a clear understanding of the costs associated with your treatment.

Seek Counseling

Now that you have received a cancer diagnosis, it is important to prioritize your emotional well-being as well. Seeking counseling can provide you with valuable support and guidance during this challenging time.

Counseling can offer you a safe space to express your fears, concerns, and anxieties. A trained counselor can help you develop coping strategies, provide emotional support, and assist you in processing the impact of your diagnosis.

Remember that seeking counseling is a sign of strength, not weakness. It is crucial to take care of your mental health in addition to your physical health during this challenging time. Reach out to Houston Family Doctors for guidance on accessing counseling services to support you on your cancer journey.

Advocate Yourself

Keep in mind that when facing a cancer diagnosis, you are your own best advocate. It is crucial to ensure that the care and treatments you receive align with your values, preferences, and priorities. Take charge of your health journey by actively participating in discussions with your healthcare team and asking pertinent questions.

Make sure there is transparency and honesty in the information and treatment options being presented to you. You have the right to be respected, heard, and viewed as a whole person, not just a patient with a disease. Your voice matters, and it is crucial to assert yourself in healthcare decision-making.

To wrap up

Drawing together the insights provided by experts and resources such as Kim Thiboldeaux’s Cancer Road Map and Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Support Helpline, it is clear that being diagnosed with cancer requires a proactive and informed approach. From seeking multiple opinions and exploring treatment options to understanding insurance coverage and accessing emotional support, these steps are crucial for empowering individuals facing a cancer diagnosis.

Note, at Houston Family Physicians Kirby and Houston Family Physicians Southwest, located at 8968 Kirby, and other locations, we offer cancer screening services and are here to support you on your journey towards better health and well-being.

Address:
Houston Family Physicians Southwest: 8313 Southwest Fwy Ste. 105, Houston, Texas 77074
Houston Family Physicians Kirby: 8968 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas 77054
Houston Family Physicians East I-10: 340 N Sam Houston Pkwy E #244, Houston, Texas 77060
Houston Family Physicians Greenspoint: 12930 East Freeway, Houston, Texas 77015

Contact us today by calling or texting 281-704-3836 or filling out the Patient Care form on our Home page to schedule your cancer screening appointment. Our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way in your cancer screening process.

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