Things to Remember when Deciding on Cancer Treatments

A positive cancer diagnosis is something that no one can truly be prepared for, but modern medicine and the improvement in technology has increased the treatment options. Common cancer treatments are decided by one’s specialist based on the cancer type, location in the body, and the stage to which it has advanced. Some people require one treatment method, but in most cases, individuals are prescribed a combination of treatments to combat the disease.

1. Understanding your cancer
Before deciding on common cancer treatments, it is always best for one to know all the details about the disease and their survival chances. In case they are not sure of what the doctor recommends, they can always go in for a second opinion and also discuss the factors to be considered with their family or friends. In multiple cases, doctors themselves advise patients against certain treatments their bodies would not be able to cope with. For example, common methods of treating cancer such as chemotherapy can lead to a whole host of side-effects and other diseases since chemo medication weakens one’s immune system.

2. Support system
Aside from being sure of the treatment method, it is also essential for one to have a strong support system in place during the entire process and for post-treatment care. This can come from one’s doctor, caregivers, family, and friends. If one does not have support, they can contact the American Cancer Society where they put one in touch with other cancer survivors who can help them make decisions on the right mode of treatment. One should also take the time to review the side effects of each treatment, the effect of treatment on their life, the financial costs of the treatment, and their health in general.

3. Side effects
If cancer has been detected in the early stages, the treatment choices will be determined by the chances of getting cured. One has to decide which probable side-effects are they more willing to risk. If the cancer is in a later stage, the focus will be more on controlling the cancer and preventing it from spreading. However, in the advanced stages, if the cancer is not responding to treatment, the focus will be more on comfort and keeping the patient pain-free.

4. Options
To be able to decide on the best common cancer treatments, it is necessary to gain knowledge about the options available and the effectiveness of each under the given circumstances. Doctors generally recommend treatments that are used in conjunction with one another. This treatment is used after the primary treatment as adjuvant therapy. For example, pairing surgery with chemotherapy.

Other things to keep in mind when deciding on common cancer treatment are:

  • Individuals can change their mind about the treatment options even after having made the decision.
  • Though the diagnosis may make one think that they have to immediately decide on the treatment, in many cases, they can take time to decide on the treatment options. Consult with the doctor on this.