Four Questions To Ask Your Oncologist Before Being Treated For Cancer


If you have been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor, chances are your general practitioner will refer you to an oncologist. An oncologist is a medical professional who deals in the diagnosis and treatment of tumors and cancer. Upon your initial visit, or during your targeted treatment, you probably will have several questions. The following is a short list of four important questions you might want to ask your specialist before treatment begins.

1. How Does Radiation Treatment Differ From Chemotherapy?

If you have an aggressive form of cancer, your oncologist may recommend either chemotherapy or radiation treatment. You may be wondering how both of these treatment methods differ. Your oncologist may explain it to you in simple layman's terms.

Chemotherapy involves the disbursement of special cancer fighting drugs, either intravenously or through a series of injections. With chemotherapy, the drugs will be circulated throughout your entire body. However, radiation treatments will target one specific area. This is accomplished by the use of electron beams, gamma rays or another form of radiation. By targeting a specific area or tumor, the radiation may then destroy cancerous cells. In some cases, radiation therapy is given to cancer patients along with chemotherapy. Both treatments may be prescribed after surgery or as a stand alone option.

2. Should Sun Exposure Be Limited When Undergoing Radiation Treatment?

Radiation treatment may make you more sensitive to the rays of the sun. Your oncologist may inform you that it is necessary to avoid exposure to direct sunlight during your radiation treatments. In most cases, it is advisable to limit your sun exposure for several months or up to a year following treatment. In addition, your doctor may recommend the application of a sunscreen when going outdoors. However, you may also be told not to apply the sunscreen to the localized area of treatment.

3. What Can Be Done to Combat Fatigue Due to Cancer and/or Treatments?

The stress of combating the disease may make you feel extremely worn out or tired. Your oncologist may have a plan to help you regain your energy. He or she may prescribe a vitamin and mineral supplement. Proper nutrition is very important as well, and your doctor may refer you to a nutritionist who is experienced in dealing with cancer patients. In addition, getting adequate rest may help you feel less tired.

4. Where Can Additional Support Be Found?

If you feel you might benefit from support through your ongoing ordeal and recovery period, ask your oncologist about support groups for cancer patients. Your doctor may have pamphlets with names and phone numbers of such groups. It may help to attend meetings and share experiences with others who are battling the same disease.  


14 March 2017

learning how to tend to sick and injured kids

My name is Dan and this is my blog. I am a recently singled father of three that is learning everything about caring for my kids as I go along. Before my wife passed, she was the one that took care of the kids when they were sick or injured, so I had a lot of learning to do and I had to do it as quickly as possible. I got together with some of the parents from my kids' school and they helped out quite a bit. I created my blog for two reasons - to keep my facts straight and to help other parents learn what I have struggled to learn.