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 Nicole-PetersonBy Nicole Peterson, RN, BSN,OCN, Oncology Nurse Navigator

Hearing you have cancer can be very overwhelming. Your mind may be racing with questions–questions you forget in the presence of your physician.

Here are some tips on how to make sure you ask everything you need to know to make your treatment successful.

*Leading up to your appointment, write down all questions

*Remember no question is a stupid question when it comes to your treatment

*Ask for specifics on your diagnosis and for an explanation of the pathology report

*Find out the stage of your disease

*Determine if there are additional workups that need to be done

*Learn the recommended treatment for your diagnosis

*Ask about frequency and duration of treatment

*Find out side effects of treatment and how they will be managed

*Learn about any restrictions you will have during treatment

*If you are undergoing chemotherapy, ask if you should have a port. That’s a small device implanted under your skin to allow easy access to your bloodstream, often used to draw blood or infuse chemotherapy drugs

*Ask for copies of scans and pathology reports

*Take someone with you to your appointment. It can be helpful to have someone else hear the answers to your questions in case you miss something

*Utilize your oncology nurse navigator. She can go to appointments with you, schedule visits and answer many of your questions. She’s there to guide you and your family through the entire process of diagnosis and treatment at Alegent Creighton Health

*Never feel like you are a “bother.” At Alegent Creighton Health we build on the strength of personal relationships and take your cancer care personally 

Alegent Creighton Health offers a number of cancer support services, including nurse navigators, social workers, nutrition counseling, pastoral services, the Image Recovery Center, mental health services and support groups. For more information, call 1-800-ALEGENT (1-800-253-4368) or visit www.AlegentCreighton.com/cancer-center



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