THE BLOG

Making Treatment Decisions As, Or For, A Cancer Patient

While it is difficult sometimes to be motivated to advocate for yourself or someone else when you are in the middle of a cancer crisis, it is definitely something that you should consider. It may very well be that your doctor is perfectly positioned to provide you with the best of care available for your particular situation and if you feel that this is the case, then by all means feel free to proceed.
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If you have been reading about the latest research and clinical trials that are happening in the world of cancer, there is no doubt that you keep seeing that time after time, the conversation revolves around immunotherapy. And if you are like me in trying to keep up with the work that is being done but trying to understand what it all means when we are not professionals in that scientific world, it sometimes becomes a bit difficult. Therefore, I did a bit of research and found a great video that helped me to understand this new type of technology that may affect cancer treatments for all types of cancers across the board. By now, we are all aware that there are so many different types of cancers. Even under the umbrella of breast cancer, there are so many different ways in which cancer presents itself. And if you talk to any group of advanced cancer patients, you will soon find that where one drug successfully works for one patient, another patient presenting the same cancer in the same location may not have any successful results. So while it seems that the answer has been to keep developing more and more drugs to kill all types of cancers, the thinking has shifted a bit in how treatments are being considered.

Since each of us is completely different from one another in our physical makeup as we are with our fingerprints, it is understandable why a "one size fits all" treatment would never work for everyone. Therefore, with the shift in emphasis to treating cancer by incorporating our own immune systems, the likelihood of a better outcome seems far more likely.

This is the reason why all of us need to advocate for ourselves as well as for our family members. It is virtually impossible for our medical team members to keep up on all that is going on in the world of treatment, research and clinical trials. In the current world of medical care, practitioners have to spend more time in dealing with electronic record keeping while treating patients, which takes away from time that is needed to keep up-to-date on all of the vast amounts of work that is being done in thousands of laboratories across the world. Therefore, in many cases, it is easier for the doctors to keep prescribing and working with the treatments with which they are already familiar than to take the time to learn about the updated options if they are not personally motivated to do so.

While it is difficult sometimes to be motivated to advocate for yourself or someone else when you are in the middle of a cancer crisis, it is definitely something that you should consider. It may very well be that your doctor is perfectly positioned to provide you with the best of care available for your particular situation and if you feel that this is the case, then by all means feel free to proceed. However, if you have any hesitations or concerns, you owe it to yourself or the person for whom you are caring to search for the very best information that you can find for your individual situation and share it with your medical team.

Your team members should be willing to review that info if they are not familiar with what you have presented to them. And after review or if they are already informed about what you wish to have them consider, they should be willing to discuss with you why such treatment might be considered or why it won't work in your case. And should you not receive such consideration or feel comfortable with what you are told, you should seek a new team member who will be willing to provide a second opinion for you. After all, if you went shopping for a new pair of shoes, would you be willing to buy them just because the salesperson said that they looked great on you when they didn't feel the least bit comfortable? Then how could you settle for anything that you didn't feel was right to you when it comes to your own life?