NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Colon Cancer - page 26

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Colon Cancer
Version 1.2012
4.1 Your treatment team
Cancer care is a team effort. Who is on your team
depends on the treatment plan you need. Surgeons and
radiation oncologists provide local treatment to the colon.
Medical oncologists give drug treatments to destroy
cancer cells that may have spread beyond the colon.
Along with doctors, you may receive care from nurses,
social workers, and other health care workers.
Deciding your treatment plan will require talking to
doctors about possible results. Some people find it
helpful to bring their spouse, partner, or a friend to
appointments. It may also help to bring a list of questions
with you when you meet with the doctors. A list of
possible questions can be found in Part 9. There is no
single treatment practice that is best for all patients. Your
final decision will require weighing possible results and
your personal feelings toward treatment. Your cancer
care team can help you sort through the choices.
4.2 Getting a 2
nd
opinion
The time around a cancer diagnosis is very stressful.
People with cancer often want to get treated as soon as
possible. They want to make their cancer go away before
it spreads farther. While cancer can’t be ignored, there is
time to think about and choose which treatment plan is
best for you.
You may wish to have another doctor review your
test results and the treatment plan your doctor has
recommended. This is called getting a 2
nd
opinion. Colon
cancer is a serious disease, and new information may
have been published about which treatments are most
effective and safe. You may completely trust your doctor,
but a 2
nd
opinion on which treatment is right for you
can help.
Copies of the pathology report, a DVD of the imaging
tests, and other test results need to be sent to the doctor
giving the 2
nd
opinion. Some people feel uneasy asking
for copies from their doctors. However, a 2
nd
opinion is a
normal part of cancer care. When doctors have cancer,
most will talk with more than one doctor before choosing
their treatment. What’s more, some health plans require a
2
nd
opinion. If your health plan doesn’t cover the cost of a
2
nd
opinion, you have the choice of paying for it yourself.
Choosing your cancer treatment is a very important
decision. It can affect your length and quality of life.
There are few cancers that are so aggressive that you
can’t take a few weeks to get a 2
nd
opinion and select the
best treatment for you.
Part 4: Treating colon cancer
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