Who’s on YOUR Cancer Therapy Team?

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it’s a sure bet that you’ll be spending significant time with your oncologists as an integral healing partner for your care.

two physicians with patient

It Takes a Team. It’s important that your traditional and complementary cancer care providers communicate well and understand each others’s roles. (Click to enlarge. Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Thus it’s vital to find an oncologist with whom you can talk openly, who will respect your views and decisions, and who will work well with and communicate with all the members of your team.

Kelly Turner, author of Radical Remission (see previous post) suggests a checklist of five questions to ask your oncologist regarding the use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer treatment protocols.

5 Questions to Ask Your Oncologist About Using CAM  (Complementary and Alternative Medicine):

  1. “Are you open to my using CAM alongside my Western medicine treatment?”
  2. “Do you believe that changes in diet, stress, and exercise can help my immune system?”
  3. “Have you read any of the latest studies on CAM, or gone to any recent CAM conferences?”
  4. “If I find a CAM practitioner that I like, would you be willing to talk to him/her about my case?”
  5. “Have any of your other patients integrated CAM with their conventional treatment? If so, how did it go?”

Similarly, if you decide to work with complementary and alternative medicine providers, it’s important that they be conversant with the approach that you and your oncologist have chosen, and that they be willing and able to work within those parameters.

5 Questions to Ask Your CAM Providers:

  1. “Are you willing to talk to my oncologist? “
  2. “Are you willing to work adjunctively with me, whether or not you agree with my choice of conventional therapies?”
  3. “Do you attend conferences attended by medical oncologists, as well as CAM conferences?”
  4. “Do you provide mind/body support as well as herbs, supplements, and medical interventions?”
  5. “In addition to the testing provided by my oncologist, are there tests you can offer me to assess the efficacy of treatment protocols, and as a guide to treatment of my current condition and prevention of future cancer?”

Effective cancer therapy is a team effort. For optimal results, it’s important that your team members be on the same page.

– Dr. Connie

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