Adjust treatment to improve quality of life?

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Question from Randirella: Getting PET/CT and MRI scans every 3 or 4 months was having such a negative impact on my quality of life, I asked to go on a 6-month schedule instead as long as I'm feeling great. Am I making a big mistake?
Answers - Larry Norton, M.D. The answer is perhaps. This is a question that only the oncologist treating you can answer. However, I have some general rules. Doctors listen very carefully to the message the patient is sending about how they want to deal with their disease. A patient by their actions or words or attitudes can be saying, "Whatever you do, don't hurt me." In other words, don't do tests that make me anxious. That is often the wrong message. The right message is, "Doctor, whatever you do, make me well." If your doctor feels a patient's primary goal is to avoid tests or information, then important tests or information may be excluded and that could be a mistake. Make sure your doctor knows you're there to win.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer featured Larry Norton, M.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about managing day-to-day life with metastatic breast cancer.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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