Analyzing Your Treatment Team

July 2, 2013

Speaker: Sharsheret’s Clinical Supervisor Shera Dubitsky, MEd, MA

As a woman living with advanced cancer, your treatment team is an essential and important part of your care.  It can be worthwhile to evaluate your treatment team from time to time and consider whether or not the team continues to meet your needs.

  • Network with other women living with metastatic breast cancer through Sharsheret’s Embrace group.  You can hear about women’s experiences with their new treatments, their doctors, managing side effects, and other important information.  It opens the door to unlimited knowledge.
  • Making decisions about your treatment team can be a difficult task.  Try to simplify your decisions based on the information you currently have.  There is no crystal ball and it is difficult to make decisions on possible outcomes.
  • Know the Patient Bill of Rights.  It should be posted in every hospital and doctor’s office.  It outlines your basic rights and what you are entitled to as a patient. 
  • Speak up when you feel as if your rights have been violated.
  • You don’t necessarily need to drop a doctor.  Instead, you can think about adding one to your current team.
  • Seek a second opinion with your doctor’s blessing.  If your physician does not feel comfortable with you pursuing a second opinion – you may want to think of changing doctors.
  • A good time to think about making changes is when you are experiencing doubt, lack of trust, a violation of your rights, or dissatisfaction with office staff.
  • Check if the hospital has a patient navigator with whom you can consult for guidance.

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