Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cancer Patients Should Seek Alternatives to Beat Disease

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cancer Patients Should Seek Alternatives to Beat Disease

Article excerpt

Being told you have canceer is like being hit by a truck.

In a few seconds, the course of your life is altered. Yet patients should do everthing possible to maximize their chances of beating cancer. And there are numerous alternatives that may be available.

- Cancer patients must be activists, partners with their doctor. They must understand everything that is being suggested and ask questions.

- Demand to know all the alternatives. Going ahead with a treatment without sufficient testing or a qualified second opinion may limit a patient's options of other therapies right from the start.

- For all serious cancers, a second opinion from a board-certified oncologist is an absolute must before submitting to any treatment of any kind. Requesting a second opinion does not mean the previous diagnosis is not correct or that the suggested treatment is not the best. It is only to say that the patient deserves the right to have the doctor's diagnosis confirmed and optional treatments explored and explained.

- Death and cancer are no longer synonymous. Most people can be successfully treated by established medical treatments. Patients should ignore unproven "easy" methods that promise cures by people who purport to be suppressed by the medical profession. Rely on established medical treatments plus supplemental suggestions and stay far away from alternative therapies in lieu of orthodox medicine.

- Most people want to know their odds of cure. Patients should remember they are not a statistic.

- Cancer patients are consumers, and as consumers, have the right to ask questions and to expect answers in terms they can understand. Doctors often seem so busy that a patient feels guilty and apologetic for taking up their time. …

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