Working With Your Health Care Team

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Working With Your Health Care Team

 

Make the Most of Your Doctor Visits

Having a good relationship with your doctor and health care team is very important, and being prepared for your doctor visits can help make the most of your time.

Your team of health care professionals


Your doctor or oncologist may suggest that you see a team of medical experts to care for your carcinoid syndrome. This is called a multidisciplinary team. This team can help ensure that you receive the best possible care, because:

  • NET are found in different areas of the body, so you may want to see a doctor who is an expert in a particular area

  • NET cause different symptoms and can lead to other medical issues

The HCPs below are specialists who may be part of your multidisciplinary team. There are other HCPs not noted who can also support NET patients. Read about the HCPs below to see how they can help care for your carcinoid syndrome.

Oncologist

Diagnoses and manages different types of cancerous tumors

Gastroenterologist

Specializes in diseases of the digestive tract and their symptoms

Endocrinologist

Treats diseases of the endocrine system

Surgeon

Performs surgery and removes tumors

Pathologist

Uses a powerful microscope to look at samples of tumors, called a biopsy. This helps determine the type of tumor you have

Nuclear medicine tech

Creates medical pictures of tumors; called "imaging"

Radiologist

Uses imaging tests to diagnose and stage tumors, even those that have spread to other parts of the body

Nutritionist

Suggests changes to diet and nutrition that may help improve a patient's health

Nurse practitioner

Works alongside your doctors to care for you in the clinic and the hospital

Social worker

Helps you and your family deal with emotional and social issues, insurance problems, and treatment arrangements

Case manager

Oversees your care from diagnosis to recovery and helps you get the resources you need along the way

Ensure that you talk to your health care team


It's important to tell your health care team everything about your disease, including:

  • Symptoms (especially diarrhea, wheezing, flushing, or feeling a rapid heartbeat)

  • Allergies

  • Foods you eat

  • All medicines you take (prescription and over-the-counter)

  • Any changes in your daily habits

Be sure to include details about changes in symptoms or new symptoms, especially if they become worse.

It's also important to share information about your daily life with your doctors, like your work or exercise habits. They will consider all of these details to help create a plan for you to manage your carcinoid syndrome.

Keep a regular appointment schedule


Making a commitment to keeping your medical appointments can help you establish a partnership with your health care team. Try to plan your day-to-day calendar far in advance, so you won't have to cancel your medical appointment.

Ask your health care team questions


Take an active role in your care. Ask your doctors a lot of questions and write down the answers, so you can read them again later. Your doctors want you to ask questions. If there's something you don't understand, ask your doctors to explain more or slow down when speaking.

If you have recently been diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome, you may want to ask your doctor about your condition and your treatment options:

  • What is the stage of my carcinoid tumor?

  • How are carcinoid tumors different from other cancers?

  • Do I need treatment right away?

  • What are my treatment options?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option?

  • How will treatment affect my daily life?

  • How will you be monitoring my condition (ie, CgA levels, 5-HIAA levels)?

  • How often should monitoring be conducted?

  • How will we keep my hormone levels under control?

  • Should I alter my diet and lifestyle?

Discover the Galaxies of Hope App

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Embark on an interactive journey with the carcinoid cancer community.


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