TIPS TO BE AN INFORMED PATIENT
Knowledge Is Power
By Elayne Smith Lowe • Be open and upfront with medical providers, including your past medical history and any alternative medicine you use, to protect against harmful side effects. • Ask if you don’t understand a medical term. • Make sure your medical records are available to your oncologist. • If you conduct any research on your own, go over it either with your provider or navigator to ensure its validity and relevance. • Get a second opinion if you want to validate the treatment plan or ensure your provider has the technology you need. • Make sure you have full knowledge of what your insurance plan provides either through the company or your patient navigator. • Call the American Cancer Society’s 24/7 hotline at 800-227-2345 for questions that come up outside office hours.