Together Everyone Achieves More

togethereveryoneachievesmoregraphic

Last Wednesday, I posted about the importance of knowing the ins and outs of your disease. Today, I’m expanding a little bit on something I said:

Your care should be treated as a team, not a one person show.

According to Merriam-Webster, team is defined as “a number of persons associated together in work or activity, a group on one side.”

Why is having a multidisciplinary medical team so important?

The most important aspect of treating a NET patient is a care plan that it is tailored to suit the individual. Neuroendocrine cancer care can be complex and for the patient the journey can encompass not only a whole host of emotions, but also a wide range of tests, treatments and health care professionals. Since there are often multiple treatment options available throughout the course of the disease, collaboration is essential among all key health care personnel who are making clinical decisions for individual patients.

In order to deliver the highest quality care to individuals with neuroendocrine tumors, a NET cancer patient should be referred to a center where there is a multidisciplinary team. Ideally, this collaborative group would be led by an expert in the field of NET cancers and include physicians from a wide range of specialties. Though patients may not always see an expert with a multidisciplinary team, it is important to have a NET specialist partnering with other physicians the patient is seeing to ensure the best treatment.

Patients feel more confident in the knowledge that all aspects of their care have been discussed and the best possible treatment plan has been formulated. A well-coordinated and disciplined team are a very critical aspect for care when striving to achieve the best quality of life and the most positive outcomes for NET cancer patients.

In the case of a doctor being unwilling to work with a patient’s NET specialist and the rest of their care team, it is crucial to fire this physician and find one who is willing to work as part of the team.

*Please remember that doctors work ***FOR*** YOU and you do not have to stay with any physician who is not giving you the care that you need or deserve! If they aren’t listening to you or other physicians in your care team, please move on. Sometimes we are lucky enough to like a doctor even though they are not providing the best or right care. Liking a doctor is not a reason to stay with them.*

I hope everyone is having a great week! Until next time…

Tricia Wahmann-Knatz

Wednesday Thoughts…

Happy Wednesday!

I came across this funny cartoon that I thought I would share.

googledoctor

This little cartoon is a reminder that WE usually are and should be the MOST informed person in the room about our disease. Just because a doctor says that they “know” about NET Cancers doesn’t really mean that they KNOW about NET Cancers.

Nothing truly scares me more than when a patient of any kind just 100% trusts a doctor, believing that doctors know everything so they don’t want to know or need to know the ins and outs of their disease because a doctor wouldn’t steer them wrong. The only truth in that manner of thinking is that a doctor wouldn’t be purposely steering you wrong.

Think about this: Yes, doctors go through a ton of schooling to become knowledgeable overall about anatomy and physiology and even a specific specialty but there is so much to learn about the human body that they cannot possibly learn everything there is to know about it in that time period. So maybe, if we’re really lucky, they possibly heard Carcinoid or NET Cancer once in their schooling but it’s honestly not all that likely that they remember the one time it was mentioned.

Seeing a doctor who will not continuously educate themselves to help treat you is detrimental to your health. It is so important to work with doctors who are open to being educated and up-to-date on the newest treatments and what options are out there. They should be open to your opinion and what you bring to the table because NO ONE will fight for you the way that YOU fight for you. Your care should be treated as a team, not a one person show.

There are so many ways to educate yourself. Join support groups, both online and in-person. Connect with other patients. (PLEASE be careful with what information you read and take online. Remember that every NET patient is different and not everything you see on the internet is true!) See a NET specialist, or TWO. Most importantly, take advantage of seeing NET specialists speak at conferences, not only do they help with the basics but they give you the most current information there is out there about our disease!

What you don’t know can harm you.

NCAN has our huge 2016 National NET Patient Conference coming up this September! This conference gives you the chance to connect with 500+ patients and caregivers with 20+ speakers in the NET specialty over 2 and 1/2 days! It is such an informative, important, and fun weekend!

For more information, click here.

To register directly, you may do so, here.

Until next time…

Tricia