1. Seeing the doctor
If you have cancer, it is important that you have all the information and support you need about your treatment.
Starting treatment as early as possible and completing it gives you the best chance of getting better.
If you want to see either a male or female doctor, ask if this is possible. It may help if you write down questions and take them with you to your appointment. You can ask the doctor or someone in your cancer care team to explain anything you don’t understand.
You can take family or other people to support you at your appointments and tests, or ask if an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker, Health Practitioner or Liaison Officer can be there.
Talk to your doctor about
Your doctor will work with a team of specialists and nurses that understand cancer. Your personal information will be kept private and only shared with health professionals involved in your care.
A member of your team should know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and help you get support. You may also have a care coordinator to help with appointments and keeping everything on track.
You might find it helpful to write important information down. You can also ask your doctor to write down information that you want to remember.
Your doctor and team members will talk with you about your needs, answer your questions and tell you where to get information and support.
You can ask for information that makes sense to you, and get support for:
- physical symptoms, such as pain, feeling sick or feeling tired
- emotional needs, like fear, sadness and anger
- practical needs, like help with transport and costs of your care
- information needs, to help you understand more about what may happen.
Your doctor can connect you with other services and health professionals to make sure you stay as well as you can.