NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
7.2 Parts of a treatment plan
A treatment plan addresses all cancer care needs while
respecting your beliefs, wishes, and values. It is likely
to change and expand as you go through treatment.
The plan will include the role of your doctors and how
you can help yourself. A treatment plan often has the
Cancer can greatly differ even when people have cancer
of the same cell type. Test results that describe the
cancer are reported in the treatment plan. Such test
results include the number of plasma cells and levels of
M-proteins, calcium, and creatinine. If done, test results
of known gene changes are also included. See Part 2 for
the tests used for myeloma.
Your treatment team
Cancer care is a team effort. Who is on your team
depends on the treatments you choose. Surgeons
and radiation oncologists give local therapy. Medical
oncologists give systemic therapies. Hematologists
specialize in treating diseases in the blood. Your primary
care doctor can also be part of your team. He or she
can help you express your feelings about treatments to
the team. Treatment of other medical problems may be
improved if your primary care doctor is informed about
your cancer care. Besides doctors, you may receive care
from nurses, social workers, and other health experts.
Ask to have the names and contact information of your
health care providers included in the treatment plan.
There is no single treatment practice that is best for all
patients. There is often more than one treatment option
along with clinical trial options. Treatment planning takes
into account many factors, such as:
How far the cancer has spread,
Your general health,
Treatment side effects,
Costs of treatment,
Changes to your life,
What you want from treatment, and
Your feelings about side effects.
A guide to treatment options can be found in Part 5.
The cancer treatment that you agree to have should be
reported in the treatment plan. It is also important to note
the goal of treatment and the chance of a good treatment
response. In addition, all known side effects should be
listed and the time required for treatment should be
noted. See Part 3 for a list of many of the side effects
Your treatment plan may change because of new
information. You may change your mind about treatment.
Tests may find new results. How well the treatment is
working may change. Any of these changes may require
a new treatment plan.