Making decisions about treatment
It can be a challenging to make treatment decisions that are right for you. The information below can help guide you and your family.
Click on the headings below to learn more.
Your doctor will recommend one or more cancer treatments after looking at your test results. Ask your doctor about the different treatments and any side effects. Think about how the side effects may affect you.
Before deciding on treatment, you can talk to your doctor and your mob. You might want to talk to other people from community. Some people join a local support group to hear other people’s experiences of cancer.
You can say yes or no to any treatment.
The earlier you have treatment, the higher your chance of getting better.
Some people choose treatment to try to cure the cancer, other people have treatment that makes them feel as well as possible. Some people don’t have treatment at all.
You might be able to be part of a clinical trial, which is a study that tests new treatments. Clinical trials aren’t always available – ask your doctor for more information.
If you are in a clinical trial, you will have the best current treatment or a new treatment.
Yes, talking to another doctor is called getting a second opinion.
Some people are scared to do this, but doctors are used to it.
The second doctor will look at your test results and suggest a treatment. They might say the same thing as your first doctor. You can decide to switch doctors if you want, or you can go back to your first doctor.
Your doctors must tell you if you have to pay for treatment.
- If you have treatment in a public hospital, it will be free.
- If you have treatment in a private hospital and you have private health insurance, your insurer will cover some or all of the costs. You have to pay for what’s not covered – this is called the gap fee.
- Talk to your hospital social worker to find out what other costs there might be, such as travel costs and seeing a specialist, and if you can get any help with these.