- After Diagnosis: A Guidefor Patients and Families
- What is cancer?
- Who gets cancer?
- Did I cause my cancer?
- Can cancer be inherited?
- Why me?
- Am I going to die?
- How do I cope?
- How do I talk to people about my diagnosis?
- Making treatment decisions
- How is treatment planned?
- What should I ask my doctor?
- Will I have pain?
- Will I be able to work during treatment?
- Will I be able to exercise during treatment?
- How will cancer affect my sex life?
- How will I pay for all this?
- What other resources do I have?
- To learn more
How is treatment planned?
Planning cancer treatment takes time. Most people want to start treatment right away. They worry that extra time taken to do tests or other things will take up precious time that could be spent treating the cancer.
How long is too long to wait before treatment?
Different types of cancer grow at different rates. Certain types of leukemias and lymphomas tend to grow faster than solid tumors. But most cancers do not grow very quickly, so there is usually plenty of time to get information about your cancer, see specialists, and make decisions about which treatment is best for you. Keep in mind that the information gathered during this time is key to planning the best treatment for you. If you’re worried that treatment is not starting right away, discuss your concerns with your cancer care team and be sure that any delays will not cause more problems.
How does my doctor know how to treat my cancer?
The type of treatment you get will depend on a lot of things. The type of cancer (including the location and cell type), the stage or extent of the cancer, and your overall health are the most important issues. Other things to think about are your personal situation (including how well you can travel and take part in treatment), how well each treatment will likely work in your case, as well as the possible side effects and risks of each type of treatment.
Your doctor will first gather information about your cancer. A biopsy and other lab tests, physical exams, imaging tests, and your signs and symptoms, are all used to decide on the best treatment for you. Your doctor will use all of this information to choose treatment options and make recommendations for treatment. Your doctor may talk with other experts to help plan your treatment.
Last Medical Review: 03/08/2012
Last Revised: 01/25/2013