Diagnosis & Treatment
Treatment plans are based on your individual needs, and your cancer care team will work with you to develop the right course of treatments to best fit you and your cancer diagnosis. Treatment plans are based on the type and stage of your cancer, results of physical exams, lab results, diagnostic imaging, your medical history, information on different treatments available for your type and stage of cancer, and possible clinical trial options. It is important to consider the risks and benefits of each treatment option, including short- and long-term effects. Concerns about pain and quality of life are also important factors.
Your role in developing your treatment plan includes:
- Talking with your cancer care team about treatment recommendations
- Working with your cancer care team to keep a record of your treatment plan
- Talking with loved ones about the effects of treatment
Treatment plans are key to good management of cancer care and our Patient Care Navigators work closely with you on this. Your cancer care team will offer you their best medical knowledge and advice and help answer your questions and concerns in the decision-making process. You are the most important member of your team, and it is our goal to give you the best, most appropriate care.
Important components of a cancer treatment plan include:
- Your cancer diagnosis, tumor characteristics, diagnostic tests performed, treatments received (including surgeries, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, names of drugs and dosages administered) and supportive services (psychological and nutritional)
- Dates for all diagnoses and treatments
- Potential late- and long-term effects of the treatments you received
- Specific information about the timing and content of recommended follow-up (for example, screening tests for recurrences and/or secondary cancers, follow-up visits with your oncologist)
- Recommendations about preventive practices and how to maintain health and well-being (for example, nutrition, exercise, and emotional support)
- Complete contact information for members of your healthcare team
- Your Patient Care Navigator will serve as your single point of contact for coordinating your continuing care
Some treatments bring side effects. Knowing what you might experience can help you feel more in control. Talk with your healthcare team about any side effects that you could have. Maintaining follow-up medical care can often lessen the effects and problems associated with treatment. Ask about what to avoid eating or drinking during your treatment.