A critical resource for anyone with a cancer diagnosis. Written by a radiation oncologist and cancer researcher, Taking Charge of Cancer offers an insider’s guide to understanding and receiving the best treatment options, choosing the right medical team, and approaching this difficult time with knowledge and hope.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be terrifying, and the first thing you probably want to know is: How am I going to survive this? Cancer care requires decisions from numerous professionals, delivering treatments that are potentially life-saving, but also potentially dangerous and life-threatening. The chances of cure and survival for any given patient depend on the expertise of the cancer team, and whether procedures are in place to ensure that cancer care is delivered properly. So, how can you make sure you choose the right treatment team and ensure the best chances of survival and long-term health after being diagnosed with cancer?
Taking Charge of Cancer is a different type of book for cancer patients—one that goes beyond the cancer information that is currently available, allowing you to truly take control of your cancer treatment. You’ll learn how to obtain and understand medical records, and why these records are critical to your care. You’ll also find the tools you’ll need to determine if the recommendations made by doctors are in keeping with accepted treatment guidelines. You’ll discover how doctors use evidence to decide which treatments are best, as well as how doctors can become biased in their recommendations. And, most importantly, you’ll be able to evaluate whether surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy make the most sense in your specific case—and whether or not these serious treatments are being delivered effectively and safely according to the highest standards.
Now that you’ve received a cancer diagnosis, it’s time to set a plan in motion for your recovery. This book will help you do just that—every step of the way.
|Publisher:||New Harbinger Publications|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
David Palma, MD, PhD, is a radiation oncologist and cancer researcher focusing on the treatment of lung, head and neck, and metastatic cancers. He holds advanced degrees from Harvard University, the VU University in Amsterdam, and Western University in Canada. Palma has published more than one hundred scientific research articles, and has won several awards for academics and teaching. He lives in Canada with his wife Cheryl Smits—a family doctor—and their three children. He is an avid marathon runner and Ironman triathlete. Foreword writer Anthony Zietman, MD, is Shipley Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, and former president of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). He is chief editor of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics—one of the world’s leading radiation oncology journals—and is a trustee of the American Board of Radiology.
Table of Contents
1 Taking Charge Can Improve Your Chances 2
2 The Basics 13
Resources: Learning More About Cancer 30
Online Medical Dictionaries 30
Understanding Your Situation
3 Where It All Starts: Your First Consultation 32
4 Deciphering Your Medical Reports 45
Resources: How Reports Are Structured 68
Sample Patient Scenarios 73
Finding More Help for Pathology or Radiology Reports 88
Understanding Blood Test Results 89
Evaluating Your Doctor's Recommendations
5 How Doctors Decide Which Treatment Is Best 92
6 Is Your Doctor's Recommendation Best for You? 103
7 Weighing Risks and Benefits 112
8 How to Get Free Second Opinions 121
Resources: Accessing Treatment Guidelines 131
Finding a Doctor 134
Getting World - Class Care
9 Getting Top-Notch Surgery 138
Resources: Hospital Volume 154
10 Is Your Radiation Hit-or-Miss? 155
11 Systemic Therapy: More Than Just a Drip 175
Resources: Calculating the Benefits of Systemic Therapy 183
Checking the Drugs and Doses 184
12 Clinical Trials: Sometimes a Better Option 185
Resources: Clinical Trial Directories 192
13 After Treatment Is Finished 193
Resources: Survivorship Care Plans 203
14 When There Is No Cure 205
Resources: Living Wills 217
15 Cancer Myths and Truths 218
Epilogue: The Taking Charge of Cancer Patient Checklist 233
About the Author 257
Palma resides in London, ONT, Canada.