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What are some questions to ask your oncologist?

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Questions a patient should consider asking his oncologist include the best places to acquire a second opinion, the goals and cost of treatment, and if he can participate in a clinical trial, suggests Cleveland Clinic. A patient should also consider asking his oncologist about the doctor's experience treating his particular type of cancer, the length of treatment and possible side effects, notes the American Institute for Cancer Research.

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Patients are often reticent to ask their oncologist where to receive a second opinion on their diagnosis, states Cleveland Clinic. However, getting a second opinion is important because it provides a second pathology review, which is crucial because not every doctor is an expert on every condition or knows the latest advancements in the field for that particular pathology. Clinical trials often have a negative connotation, but they offer a good way to receive the latest and most advanced care. If treatment does not work, or if the goal of treatment is not to cure the cancer, a patient should know his options for the last stages of his life such as hospice care.

Other questions a patient should consider asking his oncologist include what kind of quality of life he can expect after treatment, who answers medical questions if the oncologist is not available, if a nurse or other health care professional can answer questions over the phone and how long it typically takes the oncologist to answer phone calls, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

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