When an individual is diagnosed with any type of cancer, he or she is faced with one of the most important decisions of a lifetime. Deciding on the type of treatment to be used has a great effect on that person as well as on any family and friends who are involved in his or her life. These are just six of the multiple things that must be considered before this vital decision is made.
The Cancer’s Prognosis
The type of treatment that may be best for a specific time will be dependent on the type and the stage of the cancer. For example, stage one breast cancer has a much better prognosis, or chance for full recovery, than stage three lung cancer has.
The Absolute Goal
Individuals must consider what the goal of their treatment is. Some are looking for remission or full recovery while others only desire to be comfortable. Of course, the goal is dependent on the prognosis. This will help narrow down the treatment options that are best for the individual.
Risks and Benefits
Every treatment comes with its own possibilities for remission or recovery. On the other hand, every treatment also has its own set of major or minor side effects, such as decreased immune system response, tiredness, hair loss, pain and nausea. For some people with other health concerns, the risks may outweigh the benefits of certain treatments. This is important to know before making a treatment decision.
Quality of Life
Some treatments are quite easy to live with while others create an array of difficult side effects. For example, some less known treatments create far fewer symptoms, including incontinence and impotency, during prostate cancer treatment than older treatment modalities, such as radiation. All treatment options should be discussed with a healthcare professional, say the experts at International HIFU.
Before committing to a treatment, individuals should consider the financial implications. Many treatments come at a high cost, and these costs may not be covered by all insurance plans. Other insurance companies may require specific paperwork to be filled out before the treatment is begun.
A Second Opinion
Of course, one should always keep in mind that he or she can receive a second opinion regarding the diagnosis and prognosis of the cancer. A second opinion can also be helpful if the individual is uncomfortable working with the initial doctor.
Very rarely can an individual make a snap decision about which cancer treatment to choose. Instead, it must be made with careful deliberation and with some input from family and friends. It must be considered from every angle, which includes making physical, emotional, financial and social considerations. Ultimately, however, it is a very personal decision that can impact the rest of one’s life.