When you are told you have cancer, your first priority becomes trying to find the best possible medical care and treatment, and a team of specialists that will give you the best chance of fighting the disease and regaining your health. In this article, we’ll add some of our own recommendations to those of the American Cancer Society, to help you find the best cancer treatment centers in Dallas for you.
Start with your primary physician
Your first resource in your search for the best treatment options should be the doctor who first discovered you have cancer. Ask your doctor – with whom you probably already have a relationship of trust – to provide a list of specialists that he or she would consult if he or she had this type of cancer. The type of cancer you have is important – not all doctors and treatment centers have the same degree of expertise with all types.
Remember, you’re looking for a team, not just a single famous doctor
Modern cancer treatment requires that a number of physicians with different specialties collaborate to fight the disease as a team. So although there may be a primary medical oncologist who oversees your care, in all likelihood you will also work with surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, pain management specialists, and others. If you can find a team of doctors who have worked together for years and thus have developed a reputation for providing quality care, this is the ideal team you want on your side.
You also need to be concerned about the hospital or facilities you choose
Cancer treatment can be a lengthy process, requiring many visits to your doctors, so your choice of the right team of doctors to handle your case should also include an awareness of the facility they work out of. Is the hospital or clinic close to your home? Does it provide the kind of technical facilities you are looking for, in terms of having the latest, state-of-the-art operating rooms and treatment methodologies? Almost as important, does the facility itself and its staff offer the kind of personalized, comfortable, “patient first” ambiance that you want?
Naturally, you should also make sure that the doctors accept your type of health insurance and that if you have a preference for a certain hospital, that these doctors have admitting privileges at that hospital.
Once you have a list of possible doctors, meet with them to see if they are a good “fit” for you and what you’re looking for
When you first meet with the doctors you are assessing, come prepared with a written list of questions that you want to have answered, so that you don’t forget them. Ask them questions about the types of treatment they specialize in, whether these treatments are applicable to your condition, and about what the effects and possible side effects of these treatments are going to be. Ask whether the treatment regimen requires surgery, and if so ask how many of these surgeries they have performed and what their success rate is. All of these questions are “fair game” and you should not be embarrassed about asking them.
Even more important, sit down after meeting with each of the doctors on your short list and assess them critically. Did they give you enough opportunity to ask questions, and when you did, did they listen and give you answers you could understand? Did you feel that the doctor respected you, and will pay attention to your concerns as treatment progresses? And most important, did you feel comfortable with the doctor, and trust them? This last criterion is actually one of the most important, and you should trust your own intuition to find the right doctor.
If you have liver cancer, consider adding the MTV IR team to your short list
At MTV IR, we have gained a reputation for having one of the top liver radiation therapy centers in Dallas, and have a similar reputation for being some of the best interventional radiology doctors in Dallas. Our facilities are state-of-the-art, and have been cited as one of the best cancer hospitals in North Texas. But it’s our proven ability to work as an integral part of a team with other cancer specialists that will be the most important to you. We never forget that we are members of a small team whose job is to provide very focused, 100% patient-oriented care, working with whatever you as a patient need at any given time. We never lose sight of the fact that our patients are people, who deserve the highest level of personalized care we can possibly give them. So if you are currently fighting cancer, give us a call at 469-447-4008. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.