Critical Questions to Ask When You Are Diagnosed With Lung Cancer | Transcript | Lung Cancer | Patient Power


Critical Questions to Ask When You Are Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Matt Ellefson:

When a patient is diagnosed for them to be able to know what questions to ask their oncologist, and the first thing they should do is find a second opinion.  They should also, though, ask that their tumor tissue be tested for all known mutations.  And if they can do those two things, they're going to be far ahead of the game. 

Unfortunately, nobody ever expects to receive a cancer diagnosis, so nobody's ever prepared.  They don't know what to do when they receive that diagnosis. 

That is why it's so important for initiatives like Precision Medicine For Me and organizations like SURVIVEiT to help educate the patients to become more engaged in their treatment strategy. 

If you use me for an example, I was treated at what is considered the number one cancer center in the world.  And I had a relapse.  I had not had complete genomic testing.  I had learned that I needed to do that through helping other people and talking to other survivors that had had it done.  I didn't learn it from my doctors. And so when I had my recurrence, I asked that that tissue be removed through surgery and we run a complete genomic profiling of that tumor.  The doctor there at the number one cancer center in the world wasn't going to do that.  I had to ask. 

So you can't ever assume that your doctors know everything, even at the very best place this gets missed.  So that is really, really important.  Never assume that you're receiving the very best in care.  Always talk to other survivors, talk to long?term survivors that have demonstrated the ability to face this disease head?on for a number of years and survive it.  That is where you're going to get a lot of information. 

Now, certainly that doesn't replace an oncologist or doctor.  You definitely need your medical team, but it augments it in a very, very big way that can mean the difference between life and death to the patient. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on May 12, 2017