Cancer Doubts .com
  Information for patients researching their options

Learn about cancer and
Talk to your doctor with confidence

  Cancer information  

 
         
 Contents
01 What is cancer?
02 Cancer symptoms and screening (how cancer is detected)
03 Causes of cancer
04 Can cancer be prevented?
05 Cancer Stages
(how long do patients live?)
06 Cancer treatment and therapy (how cancer is treated)
07 Types of doctors who treat cancer
08 Choosing a doctor (or getting a second opinion)
09 Preparing for Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy
10 Cancer support (patient psychology and feelings)
11 Cancer suport - How friends can help
12 Is it important to do my own research? (or do I just follow doctor's orders)
13 Cancer information (research your treatment options)
14 Alternative and complementary treatments for cancer
15 Avoiding dubious treatments
16 How medical research is done (how to read medical research papers)
A About this site
 

Is it important to do my own research?

Some patients are comfortable with their doctor's recommendations, while others prefer to do their own research into treatment options. It's really up to you.

Personally, I advocate being an informed patient because:

(1) Subconscious biases. While doctors are trained professionals, they are human and prone to subconscious biases. Your case may be unique in some way, and a subconscious bias may prevent a doctor from seeing an alternative treatment option. There's an excellent book titled "How Doctors Think" by Jerome Groopman that describes this.

(2) The medical community doesn't always agree on everything. It is not true that there is always a "one best approach that the entire medical profession agrees on" to treat each type of cancer. For example, a surgeon and an oncologist may prefer different approaches to treat cancer. Even among oncologists, different oncologists may prefer different chemotherapy regimens. A prostate cancer patient named Andy Grove observed this when he sought treatment for his cancer. You can read his story here.

(3) There may be a new treatment that your doctor has not heard about. Cancer research is going forward at a rapid pace, and new treatments are being released every month. There is always the possibility that an overworked doctor may have missed a promising new treatment. A kidney cancer patient named Steve Dunn had such an experience way back in 1989. You can read his story here.

But it is important to strike a balance between being an informed patient and succumbing to fear, doubt and paranoia. Researching treatment options requires you to read through medical literature, which can be difficult to understand if you do not have medical background. The trick is to pick up the key idea behind each research paper and not sweat the details. Otherwise you can end up more confused than when you began.

 

 


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Medical information for cancer I am not a medical professional; please consult your doctor for a medical opinion. This is my attempt to explain cancer to anyone who is affected by it. If this site helps just one person, then it will have served its purpose.

 

 
 Cancer Links
Prominent research and treatment centers
Stanford Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Kimmel Center at Johns Hopkins
Dana-Farber/Harvard
Mayo Clinic
 
Information on Drugs
Drugs at FDA
NCI Drug Info
 
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Information
Sloan Kettering
(Integrative Medicine Service)
Medline Plus
American Cancer Society
PDR (Herbals and Supplements)
 
Complementary Medicine and Supplement Suppliers
Cuesta Agaricus Mushrooms
Agaricus Farm Mushrooms
Mitobi Mushrooms
Freshes Mushrooms [Bulk]
AllStarHealth [Maitake D-Fraction]
Maitake Products [D-Fraction]
LifeStream [BRM 360 capsules]
Himalaya Herbals [Ashwagandha]
Vita Green [Yun Zhi extract]
 
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials (NIH)
 
Research Papers
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Google Scholar
 
New Drug Approvals / Drugs in the pipeline
FDA approvals
 
Helpful Books and Sites
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy survival guide
Cancer Guide.org
The biology of cancer
 
Patient Stories
Andrew Grove
Steve Dunn

 


 

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Site Copyright © 2008 Wei-lung Wang. Top banner images from the Wikimedia Commons, and used under the terms of the GNU General Public License.