What To Do When Diagnosed With Cancer

What To Do When Diagnosed With Cancer

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The diagnosis of “cancer” is an enormous burden for every person. Often the fear of the disease is further intensified by the fear of the likely necessary treatment.

In this situation, it usually helps to understand that many tumors are already completely curable today, often with well-established, gentle treatment methods. But even patients for whom a complete cure is probably no longer possible can often survive years and decades with a high quality of life thanks to appropriately competent medical care and if given immediate response similar to how first aids are to injuries (which you can learn by taking a First Aid course from Skills Training Group).

For the first consultation with your doctor, it can be helpful if you are accompanied by one of your next of kin. Two usually understand better than one, especially if you are excited and nervous as an affected person. The doctor you trust – often your family doctor, whom you have known for a long time – will first explain to you at a glance what has “gone wrong” in your body and inform you about possible treatment methods in principle. Often, your doctor will recommend a specialized clinic that will take care of further treatment. There he can usually arrange a timely appointment for you for an initial consultation by means of a telephone call.

Optimally, the clinic is part of an interdisciplinary tumor center. This ensures that current clinical and scientific findings are continuously incorporated into the treatment of each individual patient. If necessary, the treatment is planned and carried out jointly by several different specialist departments. Under certain circumstances, it may be advantageous to combine different treatment methods. In this context, it is also important to know how many patients with your tumor disease are presented and treated annually at the selected clinic. Good, reputable clinics treat your patients regardless of their insurance status.


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All patients benefit equally from the extensive experience: privately insured persons and those insured by statutory health insurance. If you have private or statutory health insurance in Germany, all treatment options offered should be available to you without additional payment. Many patients believe that personal financial sacrifices are necessary to get better treatment. This error should definitely be clearly presented as such by the medical side.

After completion of all examinations (also referred to as staging in medicine), an appropriate treatment plan will be recommended and explained to you. Do not hesitate to have everything explained to you in detail and your relatives should also be fully informed if you wish as a patient. In particular, ask whether the therapy proposed to you is based on the applicable guidelines of the national and international professional societies and whether so-called SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) have been established for your disease within the clinic. The use of such established procedures gives you additional security and confidence in agreeing to the proposed therapy.

Another way to inform yourself is to obtain a so-called “second opinion”. Today, it is the self-evident right of every patient to have all collected findings handed over to him by his attending physician both in the clinic and in practice, in order to obtain a second medical opinion elsewhere. Patient-oriented doctors themselves point out this possibility and unreservedly support the desire for a second opinion.

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