Your cancer care team uses the information they have about your cancer and the information you give them to inform your treatment plan. You may only meet some members of your cancer care team one or two times (for example, in the blood lab or for a diagnostic test such as a biopsy). Or, you may end up knowing members of your cancer care team for years after treatment ends (for example, your oncologist or clinic nurse). How well you are able to talk with your cancer care team is key to getting the care that is best for you.
Before being diagnosed with cancer, many people do not know much about cancer or its treatments. Many people also do not know much about the types of health care providers who work in cancer centres and what supports are available to them. This is normal.
As a patient, you may need to know about:
- The details of your cancer
- Your prognosis (outlook)
- Your treatment options
- Financial supports
Support resources available to you (for example, support groups and classes)
Your cancer care team also needs to learn about you to best treat your cancer. Your cancer care team needs to know:
- Your medical history
- How you are feeling
- Any financial concerns related to cancer treatment
- Your support needs, and more (for example, getting to your appointments, referral to other cancer care providers)
Remember that you and your cancer care team will always come back to the goal. This goal is to treat your cancer and help you get through treatment. More tips for talking with your cancer care team can be found in the "Tips From Patients" section of the Guide Book (page 47).
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