If the word cancer sends shivers down your spine, you're not alone.
As one of the most hated diseases on the planet, it's impossible not to fear the wrath of a cancer diagnosis. At the end of the day, cancer could affect anyone and wreaks havoc wherever it goes.
The good news is that, these days, we know much more about the disease than ever before. As a result, cancer care services are operating at an exceptional level of quality and efficiency.
Cancer is a trying disease that affects more than just the individual. Let's review the team of medical professionals that are here to help with cancer care.
What Is Cancer Care?
It's widely agreed that the emotional and physical effects of cancer and treatment can be difficult for, not only the patient, but the patient's family too. Because of the severity of a cancer diagnosis and the treatment required, it takes more than just a doctor or two to provide the necessary care.
Today, it's helpful to do your research in order to be aware of your options when it comes to cancer care. It's a good idea to be equipped for a cancer diagnosis in your family, since the chances of someone you love getting cancer are unfortunately rather high.
You've made the right choice to read this article, so you can find out more about what cancer care treatment entails and whether there's a cancer care center near you.
Keep reading to gain a deeper understanding of cancer care and your options.
You're the Main Member
There are a variety of people who make up a cancer health care team. Of course, you as the patient, are the most important member of the team. The health care providers are there to make your treatment as bearable as possible.
Remember that you should never feel scared to ask your team any questions you may have. You're a consumer of services, after all. Understanding the details of the treatment and who is providing what kind of treatment is critical for your own peace of mind.
It's also useful to understand the process as best you can, so that you know what to expect and what could potentially go wrong at each stage. Being prepared in this regard is the best option.
Your Cancer Care Team
As we've mentioned, a cancer care team is made up of different specialists and health care professionals. Each of them has a unique set of skills and knowledge that will add to your journey toward recovery.
These days, it's common for specialists like this to work as a team. This approach is the most effective way to tackle a cancer diagnosis. It means that medical professionals can collaborate, share information, and work toward a common goal of getting their patient well again.
The team approach is now used across the board in many hospitals and clinics before, during, and after cancer treatment. Some of these professionals have had extra training that focused on:
- A specific type of cancer
- A certain type of cancer treatment
- Health challenges related to cancer
- A specific part, area, or system of the human body,
- Managing & coordinating the cancer patient's care.
Again, feel free to ask each person about their specific role in your team. When you understand what each of them does and what they're responsible for, it'll allow you to communicate with them more effectively.
It'll also help your loved ones to understand who can help with specific issues that arise during the process.
Who Is on the Team?
Some of the health care professionals who work with people with cancer include:
Anesthesiologist: A doctor who specializes in administering drugs or other agents (like gasses) that can cause a total loss of feeling and put a patient into a deep sleep, or relieve pain. This is most often during surgery.
Medical oncologist: A doctor who specializes in treating and diagnosing treating cancers with targeted therapies, chemotherapy, and other treatments. They also manage cancer treatment and coordinate with other members of the treatment team.
Surgical oncologist: A doctor who specializes in treating cancer with surgery.
Radiation oncologist: A doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.
Oncology nurse: These health care professionals provide critical bedside care. They prepare and administer treatments, and provide supportive care by educating the patient and their family about their cancer and the side effects of their treatment.
Oncology social workers: These social workers are specially trained to counsel people affected by cancer. They work with patients and their families and provide individual counseling, support groups and refer them to services that help with home care or transportation. They also assist and guide people through the process of applying for Social Security disability.
Psychiatrist: This a medical doctor who specializes in treating helping people who are suffering from a mental illness or who are depressed and/or anxious because of their cancer diagnosis. Because they're medical doctors, psychiatrists can prescribe medications like anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication.
Dietitian/Nutritionist: Diet issues are a possible side effect of cancer treatments. A certified dietitian helps people with cancer to manage their eating and hydration needs related to cancer and its treatment. In many cases, the ability of people to eat and drink is negatively affected by nausea caused by their cancer treatment. Dieticians will answer questions regarding decreased appetite, weight loss/gain and chewing or swallowing challenges.
Home Health Aide: A professional who works to assist people with their day-to-day personal care. Bathing, dressing, and cooking will be supported by this professional.
Pharmacist: A professional qualified to fill prescription medications. They often provide information on potential drug interactions, how to take medications, and tips about taking prescription medication on schedule.
The Next Steps
After reading this article, it's clear that high-quality cancer care is provided by a diverse team of professionals. Each of these experts is dedicated to your recovery and to making the path there as comfortable as possible.
Now that you know more about the cancer care services available to you, you're better equipped to deal with a cancer diagnosis. Whether you or someone you love is diagnosed, you can take comfort from the fact that a team will support you along the way.
So, what are the next steps?
For more information about healthcare support or to find a cancer care foundation near you, please contact us.