Have You Recently Received Bad News from the Doctor?

Your reward for getting through an MRI today with no Valium was a tasty little cupcake. During the procedure, you kept praying, “Lord, make me brave” and He did. You sobbed for fifteen minutes after it was over from the stress, but you made it through. You had picked up some cupcakes for the staff at the imaging center for being so patient, as it took them 20 minutes to get you to go into the tube. You had purchased one for yourself in hopes that you would deserve a reward when it was all over.

The first time you had an MRI you went in head first had a full on panic attack, but you thought, since that was 10 years ago, this time you would be fine. You had never had a panic attack before that first MRI and you have not had one since. This second experience was also an open MRI, but you simply cannot control the anxiety around this procedure. The tears started the minute they rolled you out, and your heart is still beating so fast. It is crazy how you simply cannot control these emotions.
Although there are thousands of people who are able to get MRIs and other medical procedure everyday without a problem, it is important to let a medical staff know if you are having anxiety. And while there are some amounts of stress involved in every kind of medical procedure, there are some people who have such high anxiety levels that extra precautions may be necessary.

Testing and Appointments Can Create Anxiety for Many Patients

No matter your age, no matter your health concern, there are times when the anxiety involved with an upcoming medical appointment, test, or procedure is out of the range of normal. When you take the time to alert your staff your concern, however, you allow them to help you navigate your upcoming events.

When you are faced with the news of that you need cancer treatment therapy the stress, of course, can be even more significant. So significant, in fact, that some patients can come out of an appointment not really being able to process what they were just told. The complexity of the latest cancer treatment therapy options contributes to the fog and fear that many patients face. And while many of us know that we need to be knowledgable consumers even when it comes to our health, it is important to realize that it is often difficult to be an objective consumer when it comes to life and death matters.

Fortunately the health care system is becoming more and more adept and helping patients both prepare and process the news that they receive. From encouraging patients to come to follow up appointments with a spouse, an adult child, or other significant person, doctors can create a scenario where patients are more likely to understand the diagnosis that they are given. Allowing patients to call back and schedule future appointments are other ways that even the most complicated cancer treatment therapy options can be understood.

From radiation treatment for breast cancer to treatment options for prostate cancer, there are many times when the plan for treatment can be overwhelming. It is an advantage, however, to realize that with the latest targeted cancer treatment therapy plans, some of the side effects can be limited. Consider some of these facts and figures about the many times when these targeted approaches can be very beneficial:

  • Proton cancer treatment therapy is a type of radiation that stops at a very specific point in the targeted tissue.
  • In comparison, conventional radiation continues beyond the tumor.
  • In breast cancer, for example, this means on average no radiation to the heart and on average 50% less radiation to the lung as compared with conventional radiation.
  • In another example, proton radiation therapy decreases the dose to gastrointestinal structures by at least 59% when compared to X-rays.
  • In the case of prostrate cancer, the targeted approach of proton therapy can be very beneficial. In fact, studies have found that prostate cancer patients treated using this method have a significantly reduced risk of impotence, with as many as 94% of men reporting that they remain sexually active after treatment.

Medical tests produce anxiety, but they can also provide a path to a healthier future.

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