There are more than 100 different types of cancer, and each requires its own treatment approach and care regimen. Your treatment team can help you make decisions about treatments to maximize the impact and minimize the side effects. A Florida cannabis doctor can be an essential part of your treatment team by helping you navigate cannabis and cancer treatment in order to reduce symptoms such as anxiety, pain and nausea.
Knowing who is on your medical team and each member’s role can help you better understand your cancer treatment. Let’s take a closer look at common team members and the importance of taking a holistic approach to cancer treatment.
Your Cancer Treatment Team
Seeing doctor after doctor can feel overwhelming, but each member of your treatment team plays an essential role in your care. Typical treatment team members include:
- Oncologists—An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in cancer treatment. Your team may include multiple oncologists, such as a medical oncologist, who specializes in treating your specific type of cancer, a surgical oncologist, who specializes in removing tumors surgically and a radiation oncologist, who prescribes radiation treatments. Your oncologist will direct your treatment.
- Nurses—Nurses provide day-to-day care by talking with patients about their symptoms and concerns, recording vital signs and performing other physical assessments, evaluating and administering treatments. You will interact with nurses frequently, and they are a great resource if you have questions or concerns.
- Pathologist—Pathologists help identify the type of cancer you may have, which informs your treatment. Information about the type and nature of your cancer is critical to treatment decisions.
- Cannabis Therapy Consultant—A neurologist who specializes in medical cannabis can provide recommendations regarding pain management and symptom relief in coordination with your other team members.
- Caregivers—Support is critical during the cancer treatment process. Your caregivers may include family, friends, and professional caregivers. Professional caregivers are typically home health aides who come into your home and help with daily activities and light housekeeping tasks. Home health aides can also fill in for family caregivers from time to time to help you and your family maintain a healthy life balance and treatment consistency.
- Hospice Care—Patients who are terminally ill often turn to hospice for support. Hospice is a type of palliative care, which focuses on quality of life and symptom relief rather than treating a specific disease. Hospice caregivers support patients and their families by coordinating care, controlling pain and providing spiritual and emotional support.
Your treatment team may include other members as well. Regardless of the size of your team and its various positions, communication is critical to maintaining safe and effective care.
The Importance of a Team-Based Approach
Your cancer treatment team needs to be well-coordinated. In some cases, you may have a care coordinator; in others, you may need to help coordinate your care. In all instances, however, your team should work together to ensure:
- Treatment meets your unique needs. Everyone is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cancer treatment. Your genetics, overall health, type of cancer and other factors impact your treatment. Your team members should design and coordinate care that is tailored to you.
- Appropriate medication interaction and dosage. Cancer treatment teams should establish transparent and thorough communication to ensure prescriptions and treatments interact safely. Unfortunately, cancer treatment and medication side effects can be severe. Medical cannabis can be a powerful tool for managing your cancer treatment symptoms. Note that cannabis recommendations should always be made in coordination with your full treatment regimen.
The American Cancer Society offers several tools to help you coordinate your treatment, including worksheets that help you track medications and side effects. An experienced cannabis therapy consultant will review your needs and records to make a recommendation that safely eases your symptoms and improves your quality of life.
Compassionate, Coordinated Care
Neurologists like Dr. Daniel P. Stein at Neurology of Cannabis are optimal cannabis therapy consultants who can coordinate with your treatment team. Dr. Stein has more than 25 years of medical practice experience and has a thorough understanding of how cannabis interacts with the body. He carefully reviews each patient’s medical records, needs and lifestyle and draws up personalized cannabis therapy recommendations for his patients.
Medical cannabis can be extremely effective in easing cancer treatment symptoms and improving your quality of life. Contact us today to learn how we can help you or a loved one through the cancer treatment process.