Witnessing a rise of Covid-19 cases in the region and having already faced challenges this year, many lung cancer patients – and those who suspect they might have cancer – are worried about visiting their doctor and going to the hospital to undergo tests due to the fear of contracting the virus. It is crucial to fight fear with facts. Learn more about the best ways to help you safely get screened to follow your treatment plan.
Here are some helpful tips that patients can bear in mind.
Have informed discussions with your doctor
While the pandemic has added another layer of anxiety for people already dealing with an overwhelming diagnosis of lung cancer, decisions regarding your treatment plan must be made jointly with your healthcare team. As with any cancer, early diagnosis and treatment can offer the best chances of remission. By having informed conversations with your healthcare providers about your treatment plan and how you feel about it, you can properly assess the benefits and risks of starting, maintaining, adapting, or pausing your current plan. Furthermore, it is essential to receive assurance from your doctor that you will be equipped with an adequate supply of your cancer medication during this time.
Top questions to ask your doctor
In the changed circumstances, patients might have a lot of doubts. It’s important to clear them. Here’re a few questions to get you started.
• Do we need to change anything with my current treatment plan?
• Will I be able to get my medicine as I usually do?
• Is it safe for me to come in for scans or other procedures I typically undergo for my lung cancer?
• If I can’t come into the hospital, how do I keep connected with you?
Leveraging telehealth services
If you would like to have these conversations with your doctor but are hesitant about in-person visits, check with your doctor if telehealth or remote consultation services are available. Work with your doctor to determine the appropriate cadence of telehealth appointments not to compromise your current treatment plan. To use your time effectively, keep a journal throughout the week to remind you of any questions that have come up since your last appointment.
Before you decide about your treatment, make sure you consult your doctor and address all your concerns. Stopping or postponing therapy out of fear can have severe and irreversible consequences. If you are worried about visiting your doctor in-person, begin with finding out if you can start by scheduling a remote consultation to get the ball rolling.
In conclusion, during this unprecedented time, the backlog of patients postponing screening, diagnostic tests, and treatments has been increasing and can negatively impact your health. Follow the tips mentioned above, face fear with facts and safeguard your health.