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4 Common Myths about Cancer Doctors

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123Donna View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 19 2013 at 1:21pm
4 Common Myths about Cancer Doctors

When I tell people that I'm an oncologist, they frequently assume my job is depressing. The opposite is true.

Yes, I have to deliver difficult and sometimes sad news to patients and their families. But I also see many patients who go through their cancer care with incredible bravery and go on to live very full lives afterwards.

My patients inspire me every day.

In getting to know my patients, I often hear that they have certain perceptions of me and other physicians.

First and foremost, I want my patients to know that I care for them and am fully committed to do everything I can to help make their canter treatment a success.

Patients sometimes have a few misconceptions that I want to address.
Misconception #1: We don't want to be bothered with small stuff. Even small seemingly minor side effects can mean something. Always let your physician know what's going on, how you're feeling, what you're experiencing and if you have any new symptoms. We want to know what's going on with you throughout the course of your cancer care.

Misconception #2: We don't collaborate.
In my role as medical director for the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Katy, I see constant collaboration. We discuss every patient and his or her treatment plan. I often have discussions with other physicians outside of MD Anderson who have treated the patient before me, or while he or she is under my care. Physicians must work as a team to deliver the kind of care our patients expect and deserve.

Misconception #3: We don't care about our patients' time.
I'm aware that physicians run late. As an oncologist, scheduling my day is extremely difficult. Cancer patients often have many questions and concerns, and it is my responsibility to address them. Sometimes a seemingly routine appointment can go much longer than planned, simply because a patient needs more of my time for a variety of reasons.

I always encourage my patients to come to every appointment with a list of questions, and I am committed to answering everything they ask. No cancer patient should leave an appointment with more questions than answers. Sometimes physician-patient conversations last longer than expected, which can cause scheduling challenges.

Misconception #4: We don't like you to get a second opinion. There is nothing offensive about a patient telling me that he or she wants a second opinion. Anytime you are apprehensive about a diagnosis or a recommended treatment plan, it's perfectly acceptable to consult with another physician. Patients should listen to their own inner instincts and do what is best for them.

DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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mindy555 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mindy555 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 20 2013 at 5:29pm
Good read Donna.  Thanks my friend :)

xxx M
Dx July 2011 56 yo
Stage I IDC,TN,Grade 3
Grew to Stage IIa- No ev of node involve- BRCA1+ chondroid metaplasia
Daughter also BRCA1+
Mass grew on Taxol
FEC 6x better
BMX 3/19/12 pCR NED
BSO 6/2012
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