October 2020

An estimated 10 million Americans alive today have faced a cancer diagnosis at some time in their life.

Due to advances in medicine, cancer care and treatment have dramatically improved survival rates and overall quality of life.

The improvement is mainly because patients are taking an active role in their cancer treatment.

When you are faced with cancer, remember that no question is inappropriate.

5 questions cancer patients should ask their oncologist:

1. Will cancer and its treatment affect other parts of my body?

Several of the most common types of cancer (breast, lung, prostate, kidney) can spread from the original tumor site to invade the bone.

This process is known as bone metastasis.

It is extremely important that you visit your oncologist to have a full medical examination and to determine if your cancer has metastasized and learned what you can do to protect your bones.

2. Should I be concerned about other medical conditions I have, such as diabetes or heart disease, and their impact on cancer?

Pre-existing medical conditions can put you at higher risk for developing complications throughout your cancer treatment.

3. It is mandatory that you speak with the doctor who has been overseeing your condition as well as your oncologist to determine the most appropriate treatment option.

4. Do I still need to see my other health care professionals (primary care physician, allergist, gynecologist, dentist) since I am under the care of my oncologist?

You must visit your other health care providers to ensure you are not neglecting other potential health problems.

It is crucial to discuss your cancer diagnosis and treatment with your other doctors, as they make up your overall health care team.

5. How can I maintain intimacy with my partner after my cancer diagnosis?

While some people experience little or no change in their sexual desire and energy level, others find that their sexual interest declines due to the physical and emotional stress of having cancer and undergoing treatment.

You must speak with your partner about your feelings and concerns so the two of you can work through it together and find ways to attend to this important part of your life.

Are there certain foods or drinks I should include in my diet as a result of my cancer or the treatments I am receiving?

In order to maintain the best possible health, cancer patients need to exercise and eat a healthy diet. Talk to your doctor about creating a customized exercise and diet plan and stick to it.

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