• What would you want oncologists to know?

    Asked by LiveWithCancer on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

    What would you want oncologists to know?

    I have an interview with a magazine for oncologists in a couple of hours. One of the questions I will be asked is what I would want oncologists to know.

    What I can think of off the top of my head: (1) don't forget that patients are people and (2) don't give up hope on your patients. I might add something about giving prognoses, but a lot of patients, including me, want to know, even if we know nobody actually knows.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      Your number one question is probably my number one! I would agree even though no one knows I personally would like to know what you are thinking about my prognosis. I would maybe add always allow us time to ask our questions.

      7 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Thanks for your feedback and help, @SandiA!! Much appreciated!!! We'll see what makes it into the article! She said it will probably be sometime in June before she gets it written.

      7 days ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      My question would be: Can you explain what you are telling me in layman's terms? A lot of times they shoot out giant words and we have no idea

      7 days ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      @cllinda that’s a great one. When my oncologist and I were discussing treatment options I finally gave up and asked him to write them down so he did. It was so much easier to see it written and he put it in order of his choices. He also included a little note as to why it was top pick.

      7 days ago
    • c1a1c1's Avatar
      c1a1c1

      If my husband asks the oncologist (Chinese) to repeat something, he shouts the answer - he thinks my husband is hard of hearing.

      7 days ago
    • c1a1c1's Avatar
      c1a1c1

      Tell the oncologist not to look at his computer the entire visit - also tell him to stop telling us that we "worry too much".

      7 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Oh wow. I never thought about the "talking in layman's terms" because most of mine have...

      I know it isn't funny at all, but i smiled when i read about the doctor that talks louder instead of plainer. I smiled because i have seen that exact same reaction. Duh.

      7 days ago
    • cheryncp's Avatar
      cheryncp

      Please talk to me in terms I can understand. Give me a print out of every scan and lab report so I can take it home and go over it later and above all treat me like a person not like a disease.

      7 days ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      You may have had your interview by now, but I had an article published in the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Post several years ago and was asked the same question. I would say to my doctors, treat me as though I am your mother/wife/daughter. Make me feel like I'm your most important patient. Not just another patient, but your most important patient. A bit selfish perhaps, but don't we deserve to not be treated like just another number? I literally would ask my doctors, if I were your mother/wife/daughter, what would you recommend, which doctor should I see and what hospital should I go to?

      6 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      IKickedIt ... that's exactly the same publication I spoke with today :) I said almost the same - and gave examples of how my oncologist and his staff have gone to great lengths to make me feel very special. Did you speak with Jo? Do you remember? She was so nice and so easy to talk to. Our 30-minute interview ended up going for almost an hour.

      6 days ago
    • WoodsRLovely's Avatar
      WoodsRLovely

      My oncologist once asked me how I was doing and I said, well, I'm tired of having doctor appointments every day and having to drive all around the city for various tests. Do you know what that is like? He shook his head - he was being honest (which I admired). He said, "I really don't know but a lot of my patients complain about the same thing." I think to be able to put yourself in your patient's shoes - understanding the strain treatment, tests, etc. takes on you...not just pain and side effects...but real fatigue from endless doctor office visits -- is important. No one wants to grow up to be a cancer patient...at least no one sane!

      6 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      That's so true, @WoodsRLovely. It is hard to put yourself in our shoes. I always love to hear doctors speak who have also been cancer patients. They have an empathy that is generally missing from other doctors.

      6 days ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      Glad your interview went well!

      6 days ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      I'd say "Pretend that you have this cancer or your wife or kids and then talk to me"...

      6 days ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Please respect any research that I or my caregiver present to you. We both can learn something

      6 days ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      Yes, @LiveWithCancer. I worked with Jo and she wrote a nice article. I was just disappointed that my oncologist didn’t see the article when it was published and I had to show it to him! Lol!

      6 days ago

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