When you are dealing with the stress and other emotions of receiving a cancer diagnosis, it can be a challenge to think clearly and find the best doctors for lung cancer treatment. However, there are some attributes that make a doctor better suited for treating your lung cancer, including but not limited to long-term care, bedside manner, and an understanding of pain management.
Characteristics of a Good Lung Cancer Doctor
Lung cancer is a complex disease that deserves treatment by the best doctors. Your choice of doctor will play a significant part in your treatment, like whether you are improving and staying as comfortable as possible.
General practitioners serve many useful functions, but these doctors typically refer their patients to oncologists to confirm a cancer diagnosis. Just as you would not have your regular physician perform brain surgery, you should see an oncology specialist if you have or suspect you have lung cancer. Your general practice doctor will coordinate your care with the oncologist, and let them know of any unique medical issues you may have that will affect your cancer treatment.
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In for the Long Haul
If you need to have, for example, an appendectomy, the surgeon you select will most likely only interact with you for a few weeks until you are released to the care of your regular doctor. When a person has lung cancer, however, the oncologist needs to be involved on a longer-term basis.
The best doctors for lung cancer treatment, according to Mayo Clinic, will be proficient in managing all aspects of treatment, such as:
- Diagnosis and staging
- Radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy
- Supportive care of side effects like nausea from chemotherapy
- Pain management
- Attention to the psychological and psychiatric issues a cancer patient can experience
- End-of-life care
Your lung cancer specialist will likely work with other sub-specialists during the different stages of managing your treatment. Your cancer doctor should be the hub in the center of your various treatment providers.
When a doctor refers a patient to another specialist, the physician wants the patient to receive the best possible care, and the doctor knows that it can involve more than one specialist.
Many physicians practically run from one patient to the next, making each person feel insignificant and undervalued. A good doctor will take the time to talk to you, listen to you, and answer your questions. It can be useful to take a list of questions to your doctor visits, but you should not feel as if your concerns are a waste of the doctor’s time.
Lung cancer doctors know that the disease and treatments involve pain and discomfort. Your doctor should not make you raise the topic of pain management. Checking on your pain levels should be part of the standard protocol. The physician may prescribe opioid drugs for pain relief, but they should do so with caution and discuss the potential side effects. Some of the more serious opioid complications and side effects can include tolerance to the dosage and addiction.
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Mental Health and Wellness
The best doctors for lung cancer treatment realize that the psychological and psychiatric issues cancer patients face can affect the success of the medical treatments. Your oncologist should know specialists in these areas who will integrate their care with your cancer doctor’s treatment plan. Getting the support you need will allow you to reserve your strength and focus on getting physically healthy.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer might be able to help you go after the responsible party if someone else’s carelessness caused you to develop lung cancer. Some chemicals and toxins at the workplace, in the environment, or elsewhere, can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.
Sometimes, the negligence did not cause cancer, but a medical mistake worsened the situation and took away precious time or a treatment window. Here are some examples of medical errors that can adversely affect a person’s chances of beating cancer, according to an article on medical malpractice reform from the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics:
- The doctor did not send the patient for a lung biopsy or imaging study, even though the person had symptoms of lung cancer.
- The physician made a mistake that caused a false negative. The doctor mixed up two patient charts, misinterpreted the test results, or made a similar error.
- The lab mishandled the blood or tissue sample, performed the assessment incorrectly, wrote the test results on the wrong patient’s file, or made another mistake.
- The hospital accidentally switched the charts, test orders, or test results of two patients.
These are but a few examples of the many things that could go wrong and harm the patient. If you or a loved one developed lung cancer because of someone else’s negligence or medical malpractice, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help get you a settlement.
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