When I was diagnosed with breast cancer the only thing I knew about an Oncologist was that I’d hoped I never needed one. Well, there’s goes that.
Somewhere between my shock and the doctors fear tactics I remember saying while fighting back tears “I have no idea how to find an Oncologist.”
The cancer navigator quickly said “I’ll take care of that!”
I assumed she met that she would help me sort all that out via guidance. But what she really meant was she would choose for me.
That wasn’t going to work for me. I think when you’re in a battle for your life, you should choose who will be on the front lines with you.
So, I went home and figured it out for myself. It turns out it’s not that difficult. You don’t need a secret code or anything like that. You just need to know where to look.
How To Find an Oncologist
Attend a support group for cancer survivors.
A cancer survivor support group is a great place to learn about other oncologists.’
The women are usually quick to share their doctor names, and quick to warn you about the ones you should stay away from.
You’ll meet women at different phases in the cancer process, so some can even recommend a surgeon.
The bonus is that you’ll walk away feeling more hopeful than you probably did right after diagnosis. You may even decide to continue to attend.
Ask anyone you know in the medical profession for a referral.
The odds are you have other doctors you see. Call your favorite dentist, gynecologist, kids doc or any other medical personnel you trust and ask.
I did this and it was the best thing I did. It was my asthma and allergy doctor who gave me the name of the Oncologist I ended up going with.
Don’t worry about bothering people. I was at first, too. But what I learned was that all doctors are usually happy to share a name in those circumstances.
Go through your insurance list.
Finding an oncologist is a lot like finding any other doctor (only you can’t afford to make a mistake).
Just like your other doctors your insurance provider book will have a list of oncologists.’
So look there, too.
Like anything else in your life you can Google “Oncologist near me.” You can read reviews and check out their resumé and find a picture, too.
Whoever diagnosed you will have an oncologist onboard. But before you accept them as your treatment doctor, I highly recommend you go home and deal with the shock, first.
When you’re ready (and you’ll know) start searching for a doctor. Don’t pick just anyone. Don’t let anyone else pick for you.
This is your battle. You need to feel safe and confident in your choice.
But never, ever, settle on the first doctor that comes along unless you just have the fortune of getting it right the first time.
I’ll talk more about picking out the right team of doctors in another article.
That’s a wrap for now, friends! Remember, your health is the most valuable currency you have, invest wisely!