Top 10 Questions You Should Ask when Choosing a Cancer Treatment Abroad
Being diagnosed with cancer is probably the worst thing that any person can hear. While it is disheartening, you should not let go of hope, as today there are various treatments available depending on the type and stage of cancer, and there research for even more types of treatment going on right now. However, the only problem is that, sometimes, you will have to travel abroad in order to find the right treatment.
We know you may feel that time is short and that you need to find a treatment as soon as possible, but it is much more important to choose the right treatment and the right cancer center where it will be administered. This will increase your chances of completely treating your cancer. For this reason, there are some questions that you have to ask each cancer medical center that you are looking at.
1. How much experience do you have with treating my type of cancer?
Cancer centers usually work with all types of cancer, but the doctors in them are always specialized for treating certain types. When discussing your treatment with a doctor, this is the first question that you should be asking, as experience is everything, especially when it comes to cancer. The more experience a doctor has, the more things they have seen and the better the knowledge that they will have about the matter.
2. Are you board certified and in which specialty or subspecialty?
Board certification is also vital for a doctor, as well as their specializations and sub-specializations. Board certification means that the doctor has passed a set of very rigorous tests that take a look at his skill and knowledge about a certain matter, while their specializations will tell you whether they are the ones that should be treating your or you should move on. Make sure that the doctor that will be treating you is specialized in the type of cancer that you are having, as it increases the chances that they will find you an appropriate treatment.
3. What is my prognosis?
This is probably the toughest question to ask, as patients often fear that they will hear depressing news. However, it is also very important to be informed from the start. A lot of doctors will try to evade this question, but those who answer show that they value their patients as people.
4. What ways exist for treating my type and stage of cancer?
For any type of cancer (except for those in metastasis all over the body) there are usually more than one types of treatment, especially as new ways of fighting this deadly disease come to light through various studies and clinical trials. Make sure to go through all the treatments available to you and go into detail about each of them with your doctor. They should give you reasons why you should do it, but also go through the bad sides of the treatment, so that you could make a possibly life-changing decision. If a doctor is insisting on only one treatment, then you should look for a second opinion and see if it matches.
5. Are these treatments proven or experimental?
There are numerous clinical trials and experimental treatments around the world, as some cancer patients are willing to risk going into the unknown just to try and find the cure for their disease. Be sure to know what you are getting into. It is always recommended that you try a proven treatment first before going into a clinical trial, as proven treatments have established success rates and you can know what to expect of them.
6. Which one do you recommend?
Of course, in the end, it is up to the doctor to make the final recommendation, as they are, after all, more informed about cancer and the possible treatments. Ask for the doctor’s recommendation and see what they have to tell you. It wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion on that recommendation, if possible.
7. Are there any side effects for the treatment?
Cancer treatments are famous for coming with a number of side effects, most of which are rather unpleasant to experience, but are not life-threatening. The most infamous is chemotherapy which leaves the patients weak because it is also destroying the healthy cells in the body. Side effects have to be endured for a complete recovery. The only thing is that with different treatments come different side effects, so you should prepare in advance and know what it is that you are going to experience.
8. Do you work closely with other specialists when treating my type of cancer?
With most types of cancer, the doctor will probably have to co-operate with specialists in different medical fields, like radiologists, surgical oncologists, dedicated oncology nurses, and dietitians or nutritionists. Having all of them to work together ensures that your disease will get attention from multiple sides, and it reduces the possibility for errors and miscommunication, thus increasing the chances for effective recovery.
9. How is my treatment administered?
Depending on the treatment type, there are various ways to administer it to the patient. There are even outpatient treatments for cancer now, although those are rare. The treatment is usually done at the hospital and you should be prepared for some time off. You should ask this question in order to be prepared and to know what to expect.
10. How much will the treatment cost?
The final thing is the price of the treatment and the package that you get for that amount of money. While the cost is not the primary concern of cancer patients, you should still be wary of high fees, as some clinics may try and use your desperation for their financial gain. Ask about what is included in the package (especially whether you will have hospital admittance rights) and compare the price with the other treatments that you have found. Remember, the cost doesn’t matter, but the quality of treatment does.
The only thing that you can effectively do with cancer is to stay enthusiastic about your recovery. There are many types of cancer, and most of them are actually treatable. The only thing that matters is finding the right treatment, which can be done by asking the proper questions. In case you need further assistance with finding the right treatment, we are always there to help.
For any further information about the treatments or treatment packages, you can always contact us!