NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Esophageal Cancer - page 86

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Esophageal Cancer
Version 1.2013
Part 7: Accepting a treatment plan
An active role doesn’t mean going through it alone.
Others can help you be active by finding information,
taking notes, asking questions, and helping you talk
through your options.
Caring for caregivers
No one experiences cancer alone. Having cancer
can affect your loved ones, especially those who
provide care. This care can take many forms. It
can range from giving emotional support to giving
medical services in the home. Caregivers often
take on extra duties to keep life normal for the
family. They also play a central role in explaining
what is happening to you to others, like friends
and doctors.
It is natural for caregivers to focus on you. Don’t
feel guilty. However, caregivers need to meet
their own needs as well. Cancer treatment can
last from months to years. Caregivers often get
too tired from the physical and mental challenges
related to the cancer. It isn’t easy, but caregivers
need to take care of themselves. If they don’t, they
won’t be able to take good care of anyone.
7.4 Getting a 2
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
Esophageal 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
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
opinion. Some people feel uneasy asking
for copies from their doctors. However, a 2
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
opinion. If your health plan doesn’t cover the cost of a
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.
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