Making smart choices in your tongue cancer treatment can be difficult for many reasons. The stress, anxiety and anger that come with the diagnosis of cancer can cloud your judgment, even reinforce your feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
While it’s a difficult process, you have to be an active partner with your ENT doctor and support network in choosing the best treatments in your case. You have, in fact, the primary responsibility in this regard since it’s your mind, body and life.
Making Your Choice
From the medical perspective, your treatment plan will be affected by several factors including:
From your personal perspective, you may have ambivalent feelings about the treatment plan recommended by your doctor. You may, for example, feel that everything’s happening too slow or too fast, a valid feeling because it’s your body.
You should then check with your ENT doctor about the right timing for your treatment, especially as you can listen to your body’s signals. You can take as much time as possible before making your decision unless, of course, time is of the essence in beating tongue cancer.
Making your choice should also be based on a deeper understanding of the disease, even when it doesn’t equal the knowledge of your oncologist. At the very least, you should know the available treatments, their pros and cons, and their side effects and complications. You may also want to discuss these matters with your family and friends who can provide emotional and spiritual support.
Most importantly, you have the right as a patient to accept or refuse any or all treatments offered. Your doctor can only provide medical advice but cannot impose his professional judgment on a patient.
The treatment options in tongue cancer includes surgical excision of the tumor, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, and chemotherapy. These are typically combined, such as in radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Preparing for Treatment
Regardless of your treatment plan, you should prepare for it in the physical and mental sense. Keep in mind that you will get worse before you can get better with anti-cancer treatments. Radiation therapy, for example, can seriously affect the functioning of your mouth, gums and teeth.
Before your treatment starts, you should consider:
You may feel that your recovery from tongue cancer isn’t in your control but it is! You just have to see where you can have control and grab it. For details of the treatment, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist.
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