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Cancer diagnosis: what next?

Each week, reply to Sign up for the Vaal (47), a general practitioner in Nijmegen, the netherlands, a common, or outstanding question on a practice. This week, that’s what happens when you get the diagnosis of cancer?

How is the diagnosis of cancer is made?

“It all depends on the type of cancer. In most cases, patients first came to the clinic with complaints such as blood in the stool, and a spot on the skin, or a lump in the breast. As a family physician I listen to your problems and take a look I with them.”

“If I don’t trust, or like, I sure would like to know that it’s not cancer, I’m sending a patient to the hospital for further examination. In the case of cancer, it turns out that there is a purpose in the body, something that is not supposed to. Then, I would like to refer the patient to the nearest hospital.”

What will happen at the hospital?

“There is often a small piece of tissue (biopsy) is removed. That will be examined under the microscope by the pathologist. This allows him to see what kind of cancer it is.

“Then you want to be the cancer specialist, the oncologist will know what it is, so that shows a scan. It Is a single tumor or even metastases? In collaboration with the patient, a treatment plan is drawn up.”

What treatment plans are out there?

“Well, that depends on the type of cancer and whether or not there are metastases. As there will probably be not spread, it is the operation that the tumor in its entirety, remove the can often be the best option.”

“Well, if you are being treated by a specialist, it can be great to keep in touch with your primary care physician.”

“But if the doctor suspects or can see that there are already metastases, but they are also, often, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. In some cases, the tumor with the help of immunotherapy, can be controlled to be kept.”

If the diagnosis is once made, it can be more than with your doctor ask questions?

“No, it’s fine. I have noticed that a lot of patients are very happy with and ask for the office hours of the assistant for clarification. When the diagnosis is cancer, there are very a lot in the beginning. You will have to make difficult choices regarding treatments and it is all new and stressful. You’ll end up in a medical merry-go-round of ziekenhuisafspraken. It may be nice to have every now and then with my doctor to discuss it; that has often been, and can be with you, too.”

“In any case it remains for the physician to be aware of all the treatments, and the current state of affairs, through consultation with the hospital. He or she knows to be the shoulder and the rim, and will consult as necessary with an expert.”

What advice do you give to patients who are diagnosed with cancer, go to the hospital?

“Because we have so much coming your way, I would always take someone along to the appointments with the doctor. Due to the stress, remember you are not what is being said. Two, hear, and remember more than one. What you can do is to talk to you again at a later time can then listen to. A question, however, will always be cleared in advance with the doctor.”

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