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Pancreas Cancer

Doctors was posted 06/03/2017 03:41 pm by Anonymous
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Every person is different with regard to what they need, how helpful/accessible their oncologist and oncology nurse can be, and what their local oncology department can provide.

I would start with looking at the website for your cancer center, and see if they brag about working with a 'team' of clinicians to improve your quality of life. Most good, academic oncology departments will have relationships with psychiatrists, dieticians, social workers, palliative care doctors, and pain doctors... at a minimum. At one point or another, we talked with or met with all of these specialists. It depends on what needs your loved one has.

Just know... there are more people that can help. NEVER expect that your oncologist can do everything. Always ask 'is there someone else who could give us more help?'. And always help research/advocate for loved one, who is too overwhelmed to do this research themselves.

And remember, you can always go on your own to see a specialist to get a second opinion or more help, even without your oncologist recommending it. You are the client. Do what you need to do.

For my Mom, I immediately asked that a Psychiatrist see her when she was in the hospital when she was first diagnosed. We were told that her pancreatic cancer was actually the likely cause of her extreme fatigue and depression. So the psychiatrist immediately started her an an anti-depressant medicine (that also helped her pain) and a medicine for energy (modafinil). I cannot express how useful this was. Since she also had a new diagnosis of diabetes, we also involved her primary care doctor immediately so he could help manage the diabetes medications and all the other smaller doctor issues. He was lovely and had us call him anytime we had issues with her blood sugars.

Early on, we saw the dietician just to get general advice on how to keep calorie intake high.

When her pain got worse, we saw the Pain doctor. So useful.

When she had persistent nausea, we saw a gastroenterologist who diagnosed her gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying).

Finally, when there were more problems later in her disease course, we started seeing a Palliative Care doctor while pursuing clinical trials. The Palliative care doctor was wonderful and helped manage her pain, sleep issues, constipation and more. They helped us transition to Hospice only at the very end, just before she passed away.

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
FULL DISCLAIMER


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