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Consumer How To Choose Guide 2015

Dalton Daily CItizen, Dalton Magazine

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4 The Daily Citizen ◆ HOW TO CHOOSE GUIDE 2015 A Comprehensive Cancer Center is dedicated to an expert level of care experi- enced in the specialized field of cancer. The physicians, nurses, technologists and staff are uniquely qualified to handle all facets of cancer patient care. When a consumer begins the search for cancer treatment there are a number of things to consider. What are the specific needs of each patient and which facility will accommodate those needs the best? The center should be accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and be classified as a comprehensive cancer center. A Cancer Center should instill trust with a patient. An excellent resource when mak- ing decisions would be a primary physi- cian, nurse or a friend that has had first hand experience in fighting cancer. These people will be able to give recommenda- tions based on medical backgrounds, known success rates and overall quality of care. What types of cutting-edge technology should a cancer center have? The center should offer the basic tech- nological advances such as a CT, MRI or nuclear medicine. There are also several new procedures in certain types of cancer treatment one should ask about; PET Imaging (Positron Emission Tomography), IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) and Brachytherapy. Advanced technology is changing the approach and protocol in some cases, so you will want to ensure your doctor has the advantage of all the latest resources and information. Is there a team approach to patient care? Do the physicians and other doctors such as the surgeons, radiologists and oncologists meet together and discuss each case? Do they have a team philoso- phy where they discuss what would be the best plan of action for each case? Are the nurses and tech- nologists registered or cer- tified in their field of can- cer care? Is all lab work complet- ed on site or are tests sent off site? The cancer care team should interact with the patient's family easily. This ensures an optimum flow of communication and creates a posi- tive environment for each patient. What will happen before, throughout and after treatment? A family dealing with cancer often has lots of questions and concerns about pro- cedures, outcomes and long term care. Does the facility offer the patient and family education throughout this process? Determine if the center has a staff of not just nurses, physicians and technicians but nutritionists and social workers who are solely dedicated to that center. These staff members will be knowledgeable in cancer treatment to help families through a difficult time and to provide as much information and edu- cation as possible. What are the guidelines to be a candidate for clinical trials? Many types of aggressive treatments are currently in the trial stages. Talk to a physician at the cancer center to determine if the facility is involved in National Clinical trials as they offer some of the most advanced treatment options available. Clinical trials are conducted in groups of about 100 persons and tested throughout the country to build cancer knowledge. With today's advanced technology, hospitalization is rarely required for cancer treatment any more. There are many procedures and treatment options performed by the cancer center as outpatient procedures. Most cancer treatments are now 95 percent outpatient. The Cancer Center provides a continuum of top quality care dedicated to each patient they serve. Points to remember • A cancer center should instill trust with a patient. • The cancer center should offer the basic technological advances. • Is there a team approach? CHOOSE A COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW k j The center should offer the basic technological advances such as a CT, MRI or nuclear medicine. The cancer care team should interact with the patient's family easily. This ensures an optimum flow of communication. k j Talk to a physician at the cancer center to determine if the facility is involved in National Clinical trials as they offer some of the most advanced treatment options available. A cancer center should instill trust with a patient. H OW TO

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