Your rights and responsibilities
For many people, a cancer diagnosis is the start of a long and often complicated road through the health care system.
Lifehouse care tips
At Lifehouse, we take a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, bringing together a wide range of skilled doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. For our patients, this means access to the very best treatments and experts available, as well as comprehensive information and support, all delivered within the one integrated cancer care plan.
A cancer diagnosis can be very daunting, but you don’t need to face it alone. To help you get through your illness and treatment, you can look to your care team, your family and friends, counsellors and support groups as well as those who’ve gone through a similar experience before. Here are some helpful hints from past patients to start you off:
- Try to keep a positive outlook. Any cancer diagnosis is a challenge. Remember every person’s experience with cancer is different and stories you hear may not apply to your situation.
- Take a family member or friend with you, if possible, when you see your oncologist.
- Write down information in a notebook such as the date and reason for an appointment. You may need this information to look at later, when you are talking to family members or for insurance and government forms.
- Make a help list of things that would be helpful to you or your family, for example making a meal, or driving the kids to a hockey practice or swimming lesson. Then, when someone says, “How can I help?” you can look through your list. You, and the person offering to help, will both benefit. Friends and family may want to help but need to know how!
- You may want a second medical opinion. We would like to reassure you that it is all right to raise the question of a second opinion with your Lifehouse doctor during a regular appointment.
- We recognise that you will want to have information about your cancer, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Our staff can direct you to resources that may be of assistance throughout your diagnosis and treatment.
- It may be possible to record your consultation. Please ask your doctor if this is possible.
- Informed consent – Before your treatment starts, your doctor will talk to you about your diagnosis, your options for treatment and the side effects of treatment so that you may give informed consent. This means giving your permission to receive certain treatments or undergo procedures with an understanding of the possible risks and/or benefits involved. You can change your mind at any time or ask for more information from members of your treatment team to make sure that you have made the best treatment decision for you.