Online Learning Center

Your Healthcare Team

The most important member of your healthcare team is YOU.

Many people with cancer feel better when they play an active role in their own healthcare. 

Some important and helpful ways to stay involved in your care are:

  • Gathering information to make treatment decisions with your healthcare team
  • Asking questions of your healthcare team
  • Telling your healthcare team how you are feeling
  • Learning about treatment choices and side effects
  • Seeking relief from itching and pain
  • Asking others for support

During the course of your treatment, members of your healthcare team may include the following:

Dermatologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases. Some dermatologists specialize in treating CTCL.

Oncologist: A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer.

Radiation Oncologist: A doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer.

Nurse: A registered nurse with advanced education practitioner and training who can help manage disease,
symptoms, and side effects of treatments.

Your care partner: You might want to ask a family member or friend to give you support. This person could help you:

• Learn about your illness and treatment    options.

• Talk with your healthcare team.

• Assign important tasks or chores to others.

• Help with insurance matters.

• Drive you to and from treatment.

• Find resources.

 

Here are some ways to help you talk with the people involved in your care and in your life.

Your healthcare team
Talking openly and honestly with your doctor and the rest of your healthcare team is important. You may want to:

  • Write down your questions about your illness, treatment, or side effects and take them with you when you visit your doctor.
  • Take a family member or close friend along to doctor appointments. This person can help you ask questions and write down or remember answers.
  • Tape-record your healthcare visits with your doctor so you can listen to the information later (first get permission from the doctor).
  • Your family or close friends

You may not feel like talking, especially at first. It is OK to tell family or close friends if you do not want to talk or if you are not ready to talk. When you are ready to talk, remember that sharing your feelings with others can be a great support. Although some family or close friends may be very supportive, others may not be ready to accept that you have cancer. Think about the people who may be able to listen to and support you. Try to talk openly with them about your fears as well as your hopes and dreams.  Family or friends may ask how they can help. Offer specific ways that they can. For instance, you might ask them to pick up some groceries, take a walk with you, bring a movie you can watch together, or just listen to you.

Your Healthcare Team