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.
Diagnoses and manages different types of cancerous tumors
Specializes in diseases of the digestive tract and their symptoms
Treats diseases of the endocrine system
Performs surgery and removes tumors
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"
Uses imaging tests to diagnose and stage tumors, even those that have spread to other parts of the body
Suggests changes to diet and nutrition that may help improve a patient's health
Works alongside your doctors to care for you in the clinic and the hospital
Helps you and your family deal with emotional and social issues, insurance problems, and treatment arrangements
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)
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?