Texarkana, TX 73° View Live Radar Sat H 74° L 40° Sun H 61° L 36° Mon H 62° L 43° Weather Sponsored By:

Have a plan for communicating your medical history

Have a plan for communicating your medical history

November 11th, 2017 by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. in Features

Q: I was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago, and we've recently moved. Even though I have a new primary care doc, I don't feel she understands all of my medical history. What should I do?—Lauren E., Hyde Park, New York

A: There are 15.5 million cancer survivors in America, and around 33 percent of office visits for cancer are handled by primary care physicians. Unfortunately, research shows they're often unprepared to do the job.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at 12 advanced primary care practices selected from a national registry of workforce innovators. One would think that this group would be better than average in paying attention to patient needs. However, the Rutgers University researchers found that NONE of the practices had what's known as a "comprehensive survivorship care program." The program should include checking for cancer reoccurrence (with scans, blood tests and exams), monitoring long-term effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatment (such as atherosclerosis, joint or bone issues, organ damage, impact on the endocrine system and hormones, cognitive changes, neuropathy, fatigue) and assessing psychological well-being.

There is a push to improve survivors' follow-up care, but it's essential that you take charge.

First step: Have medical records made accessible to your new primary care doctor (most electronic medical records are shareable if you allow them to be), and get a digital and a hard copy for yourself. Include information from your cancer diagnosis, surgery, treatment and post-treatment follow-up with your oncologist and oncological surgeon, plus your records from your former primary care doctor.

Second step: Contact a local cancer treatment center. Ask about scheduling a follow-up visit with an oncologist, and inquire about cancer rehabilitation services they offer. If you make an appointment, have your records transferred there, too.

Third step: Download info from the American Society of Clinical Oncology at ASCO.org; search for "Survivorship Patient & Family Resources." They offer ASCO Cancer Treatment Summaries and Survivorship Care Plans—forms for patients and doctors to complete together. Bring these to your new primary care doctor, and set up your own survivorship care program.

 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at
youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.

 

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com