Care and Treatment for Cancer Patients
The goals of cancer care and treatment are to cure or, at least, prolong the life of the patient and ensure good life for cancer survivors. However, the kind of care and treatment a cancer patient gets depends on the type of cancer he or she has been diagnosed with and how advanced the case is. Some cancer types require only one treatment, while others need a combination of two or more therapies.
Regardless of what an oncologist includes in the treatment programme, it should have adequate therapies to cure or extend survival. Besides treating the cancer cells, Singapore oncology consultants will also include treatments to manage cancer symptoms and the side effects of the treatment.
The first step to treating cancer is to establish the diagnosis based on the pathological examinations. A series of tests has to be done in order for the Singapore oncologist to determine the severity of your tumour. Knowing the stage of the cancer often requires substantial resources, which isn’t always affordable for everyone. Because of late diagnosis, perhaps due to poor resources, most patients discover the disease in an advanced stage.
Once the diagnosis of the disease has been established, a decision is made regarding the most effective cancer treatment according to how much the patient (or the patient’s family) can afford.
This requires the expertise of Singapore healthcare providers who specialize in the type of cancer a patient has. They will carefully analyze and select one or more major treatments based on the findings and resources available.
A surgical procedure alone or radiation therapy by a cancer specialist doctor in Singapore alone is only likely to be successful if the cancer tumour is small in and localized. Similarly, chemotherapy alone is usually only effective for a few types of cancer, such as leukemias and lymphomas. If the case requires multiple treatments, this requires close collaboration among the patient’s oncology consultants.
Questions to Ask
It’s important to be fully aware of your health status, and it helps a lot to know the questions to ask. We recommend that every diagnosed patient must ask their specialist these important questions:
1. Is my type of cancer treatable?
This should be the number one question to ask in every cancer discussion. As the patient, it is your right to know whether it’s reasonable to spend as much and know the things to expect after the treatment.
2. What type of cancer do I have? Has it spread?
The treatment plan of a cancer patient is based on the information collected from the pathological examination. The oncologist will analyze how every treatment method is going to alleviate your condition and affect your overall health.
3. What stage is my cancer?
The stage of the cancer is the marker to help determine the severity of the disease. Ranging from zero to four, the stage evaluates the tumour’s size, the involvement of lymph nodes, and whether the cancer cells have spread. However, the staging can only be determined once the lymph nodes and tumour are removed and examined by the doctor.
4. Should I continue taking my supplements?
This primarily depends on the kind of cancer treatment the patient will undergo. Many patients still take vitamin supplements to support optimal health while going through the treatment. However, it’s highly recommendable to go all natural as much as possible and consume high-quality food. Some supplements with high levels of antioxidants interfere with the effectiveness of the cancer treatment, so it’s crucial to discuss such things with the oncologist.
5. How will the treatment affect my day-to-day activities?
For the most cancer patients, treatments are incapacitating in varying degrees. There’s no one definite answer for this as every person reacts differently to each treatment, but it would be helpful and comforting to know that you’ll still be able to continue doing selected physical activities during the treatment.
6. Will I experience pain during the treatment? How to ease discomfort?
Many patients, especially those in advanced stage, are already in pain due to the effect of the disease. Cancer treatments (or surgeries) can lessen this pain. When the pain becomes unbearable, there are pain management specialists who can help minimize pain for patients who are undergoing cancer therapies and treatments.
7. Can you recommend a colleague for a second opinion?
Being diagnosed with cancer is extremely disheartening, not only to the patient but for the family as well. Therefore, it’s an important strategy to be sure of your case and that you have the right treatment programme to hopefully cure the disease.
8. What happens if the treatment plan doesn’t work as expected?
Feel comfortable asking your doctor about the possible inefficiencies of the treatment they planned for you. While this may sound like you’re questioning their expertise, it will give you peace of mind that your Singapore oncology consultants are willing to try new treatment plans depending on your response.
9. What side effects should I expect?
No two patients will experience the same response to a cancer treatment; therefore, side effects vary from person to person. Ask your Singapore oncologist what side effects to expect so that you’ll be prepared and focused on managing them for better tolerance and adjustments.
10. Who are the people involved in the treatment and who’s my main contact person?
A care team—which includes a medical, radiation, and/or surgical oncologist Singapore; a dietician; a clinical nurse; a naturopathic oncologist; and medical advocate—will ensure that you’re getting the support you need for your well-being. If you don’t have a team of experts yet, discuss with your oncologist about assembling one. It’s also important to have a certain person in your team who you can contact whenever you need something.
Cancer may be fatal, but highly curable when detected early. The best oncologist in Singapore should be able to provide effective care and treatment for people diagnosed with cancer to help cure or at least improve survival possibilities regardless of the stage of the disease.
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