My topic today could be controversial for many, but based upon the experiences my husband and I have encountered since his journey with RCC began, I speak only from our perspective.
Yesterday I spoke with a woman who had undergone surgery a few months ago for breast cancer. She has recently been experiencing some discomfort and of course is fearing the worse, even though her doctor continues to reassure her that no further treatments are needed and her cancer is completely gone. She is now doubtful about her initial surgery as it was performed by a general practitioner and she has never, ever seen an ocologist despite the severity of her initial cancer diagnosis.
From a personal perspective, I would most definitely encourage any cancer patient to obtain testing and diagnosis from an oncologist before any surgery is performed. If your type of cancer has been confirmed, then seeking medical advice and direction from a cancer specialist in that particular field of cancer would be even more beneficial to you. I never knew such people existed a few months ago. Call me stupid, but hind sight is twenty-twenty. I know now that connecting with a doctor who specializes in renal cell carcinoma or RCC was the best thing my husband ever did!!! Specialists have the credentials and experience related to specific types of cancer. They are up-to-date on the latest innovations and medical treatments for particular cancers and they have the experience of what works and what doesn't, based on their patients files and constant contact with other medical specialists.
Even though your general practitioner is knowledgeable about your medical history, he/she is not an expert in a particular field of cancer.....but specialists are!!! maybe you are very fortunate to have a general practition taking care of you who is in constant contact with a specialist in your type of cancer. If so, then you are receiving very good care. Unfortunately though, I'm certain that alot of practitioneres and even oncologists don't always connect with "the experts" in their patient's particular field of cancer. How can any oncologist who is not keeping contact with cancer specialists, ever keep up-to-date with the most medical treatments, etc in any one particular area of cancer?
If you had a major health problem during pregnancy, would you feel more confident in the hands of your family physician or with a doctor who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology? Cancer is a major health problem.....so need I say more!
As the song says, "It's Your Life" so NEVER be afraid to ask for a second opinion. You have the most to lose by not doing so and you deserve the best medical care possible.
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