Prevention efforts seem to have failed. The doctor used the dreaded "C" word...cancer. Now what? We hear a lot of buzz about amazing cures and successes, "If you'll just buy my book, take my pills or visit my center." The very word, cancer, scares us so completely, we believe we're going to die any minute. Sadly, it's those fears the frauds are counting on. They want you to be so afraid you'll try anything...even their product. Many of us are so frozen in fear, we ignore that fact that many forms of cancer are treatable...often, actual cures have been developed and adopted as standard treatment for cancer. Here are some of the top-selling books on cancer treatment. Sometimes, the fears generated by frauds can cause us to choose back-alley, ineffective treatments instead of viable ones recommended by our doctors. If we just calm down and begin to study the situation, we can often relieve our fears and make rational decisions that will avoid the frauds and help our doctors help us heal.
Frauds come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Perhaps the biggest price people pay is chasing after these things when sound treatments are available. You will rarely hear a reputable doctor use the word, "cure," when referring to cancer. Immediately, then, a red flag should go up in your mind if someone is offering or claiming a cure. Other claims that should strike you as suspicious are ones that suggest standard cancer treatments, like radiation or chemotherapy kill people. Let's get this straight right now...people die from some types of cancer. Some terminal cancer patients choose to receive experimental treatments in a last ditch effort to try and slow the disease. For frauds to use this to get you to distrust a doctor's standard treatment, however limited the success rate, should be considered a crime. The only time you should consider experimental treatments or claims of those outside of the medical community is if you have a terminal condition and you've exhausted all accepted medical treatments. You're a grown-up, now. You should get all the objective advice and information you can, about every treatment you're considering, but people trying to sell you non-standard treatments are not objective...you need to do your own homework...and this is the most important homework assignment you may ever get.
Biopsy is usually the first
bit of research done to verify a suspicion of cancer. That's where the doctor
collects cells for the lab to analyze. Ask your doctor for a paper copy of
the test results. This will give you the exact name of the cancer, if the
cancer is malignant (harmful), and other useful information. Based on
this, your doctor will recommend other tests to determine the
stage (extent of growth) or grade (speed of growth) and treatment options to
consider. Take lots of notes and ask lots of questions! While
continuing the test/treatment recommendations of your doctor, take this
information to a second opinion appointment with another doctor, not associated
with the first one. While doctors are highly educated, they are human.
Doctors and their staffs make mistakes. Second opinions are so you can
head off mistakes before they happen.
Awareness and understanding of standard treatment options, risk factors, success rates, unique terminology and second opinions will all help you be a better patient, active in the treatment of your disease. This is why, before the second opinion appointment, you need to research the information from your doctor. Search reputable sources on the Internet for everything you can find about your specific cancer. Yes, you'll need a dictionary and medical encyclopedia. A great place to begin your research is the U.S. National Cancer Institute. It's where I've found most of my reliable cancer information. Print all the information about the cancer, stages, grades, treatment options, success rates, survival rates and treatment centers. Highlight the parts that apply to you and write questions for your doctors. Take all the information with you to all your appointments with your doctors. Make sure to point out when their opinions differ and gauge their reactions. If their recommended treatments differ from what your research shows, ask them why. Some doctors will be humble, thank you, and offer to look into it further. Other doctors will need to be replaced, as was the case with my wife's father.
My father-in-law's doctor made a mistake, treating a very aggressive life-threatening cancer with cosmetic surgery. By following the steps I've listed in this article, I was able to convince the new doctors to follow-up with radiation to significantly reduce the probability of relapse. Since, with his cancer, relapse is almost always fatal, it was better to be safe, even if it cost the HMO a couple more bucks. Some doctors and HMO's get a little confused as to who makes your health care decisions.
The Oncologist (cancer doctor), your primary doctor and often other specialists are essential leaders in the successful treatment of your cancer but you are in charge. They will present you with options, including diet, supplements, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and a vast amount of information for you to digest to make informed decisions. If you do your homework, you can control the fear, eliminate the frauds, reduce the mistakes and make the right decisions in your fight against cancer.
No matter what type of cancer you or a loved one has, God can help. If you want His help with your disease, visit Healing From God.
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