Why It’s Important to See Your Doctor When You’re Starting Cancer Treatment
There’s never a good time to get a cancer diagnosis, but especially not during a pandemic. The questions, concerns, and fears you have about your health are only amplified by the upheaval in the world, and your temptation may be to wait on treatment. But cancer won’t wait, and one world-renowned medical oncologist stresses the importance of in-person appointments for newly diagnosed cancer patients.
“In most cancer cases, early treatment is crucial,” said Sumanta Kumar Pal, M.D., a clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research and co-director of the Kidney Cancer Program who practices at City of Hope Newport Beach. “City of Hope Newport Beach has implemented stringent safeguards to limit COVID-19 exposure so you can access compassionate, world-class care that will be the foundation of your treatment plan.”
There are several benefits to meeting with a physician personally as you embark on cancer treatment:
1. You get information.
This may be your first opportunity after your diagnosis to meet with an oncologist who specializes in your type of cancer. You’ll learn as many details as you want about your cancer, the stage you are at, survival rates, and more. Knowledge is power.
2. You get to ask questions.
Your initial diagnosis may have thrown you for a loop, but this is not a time to search the Internet for answers to all your questions. City of Hope Newport Beach physicians are experts in their fields, and can share their knowledge with you. Don’t hesitate to ask anything.
3. You get to be a partner in your treatment plan.
Sitting with your doctor one-on-one gives you the space you need to understand all your options for treatment. Your physician can outline the risks and benefits associated with each plan, offer recommendations, and go over potential outcomes. Again, the opportunity to ask questions here is invaluable so you can make decisions based on all the facts.
4. You get resources.
City of Hope Newport Beach’s comprehensive supportive care model is designed to make cancer more manageable for you. You get helpful tools not just for your physical needs, but for your emotional and mental ones, too. Seeing a doctor means you also see our specially trained, empathetic staff members who work as a multidisciplinary team to provide the best possible care. They can direct you to educational materials, research programs, and support groups for you and your family, and assist with practical matters such as insurance forms and transportation arrangements.
5. You get to know your team.
During your cancer treatment, you’ll come to rely on and value the relationships you develop with your health care providers. Meeting them face to face at the start of treatment lays the groundwork for this team effort in the fight against your cancer.
City of Hope is a safe place for world-class cancer care. To make an appointment with a physician at City of Hope Newport Beach, please call (949) 763-2204. For more information, please visit CityofHope.org/OC.