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Colon and Rectal Surgeon
If you have recently been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you may be feeling stress or anxiety over what comes next. At Maryland Oncology Hematology, our multidisciplinary team of experts is here to support you and provide you with the information you need as you begin your cancer treatment.
What Type of Doctor Will Treat My Colorectal Cancer?
You may have received a diagnosis from a primary care physician after noticing symptoms, or after a routine screening test. For your cancer treatment, you will see an oncologist, a physician who specializes in cancer care. Your treatment plan will vary depending on your individual needs, but your colorectal cancer team may include a medical oncologist, surgical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and gastroenterologist. Your care team may also include other clinical professionals, such as oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, genetic counselors, and dietitians. These clinicians all work together to develop the treatment path that’s right for you.
What Questions Should I Ask My Colorectal Cancer Team?
At your first appointment, ask any questions you feel will better help you understand your situation and your options. You may want to come with a family member or friend. We also recommend writing down any questions you have prior to your appointment and bringing something to take notes with.
Here are a few questions that may help you gain a better understanding of your options:
- Where is the cancer located, and has it spread?
- What stage is my cancer, and what does that mean?
- Will I need additional testing prior to treatment?
- Do I have any gene changes that may affect my treatment options?
- What are the goals of treatment for my stage of colorectal cancer?
- What are the risks or side effects of my treatment options?
- Will I be able to work or participate in my daily activities while receiving treatment?
- Will I need a permanent or temporary ostomy (a surgical opening that allows waste to leave the body)?
- Do I need a special diet during treatment?
- When should my next colonoscopy be done?
Should I Get a Second Opinion?
You should feel confident in your diagnosis and in the physician leading your treatment. Our physicians at Maryland Oncology Hematology provide second opinions for all types of cancer diagnoses and treatment plans. To schedule a second opinion, please call our office to make an appointment.