Treating Cancer FAQs
Have a look at the FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) that can help you navigate the journey to getting the best treatment available.
Getting a cancer diagnosis from your doctor is life-changing, and we recognise the importance of you getting an appointment as soon as possible. Accommodating new and existing patients is a priority, and we will schedule an appointment for you at your earliest convenience.
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You can arrange a consultation to occur at the hospital closest to you if needed. This can be arranged upon making an appointment. In addition, it can be arranged to have a first virtual consultation ( see more about this below) before the in-person consultation ( which is covered in the cost of only one consultation). In these unique times of COVID, we will strive to limit unnecessary risks to all patients and staff. Please see the list of hospitals where we treat patients in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
This platform will be used to render healthcare services, and that the usual consent processes will be followed). You can opt out of receiving care at any stage, but acknowledge that it may not be in your best interest (e.g. COVID-19 lockdown). For record-keeping of the session, i.e. the Practitioner’s notes, which are required by law. If there is a recording of the live session as video and sound recording, you will have to consent separately if it is to be shared. The Practitioner will adhere to the existing rules relating to confidentiality: You must take the necessary precautions at home to ensure confidentiality during telehealth service provision; e.g if you should I want a family member, caregiver, parent or another person to attend the session with you (in person or through a remote internet connection), you will provide consent to such attendance before the consultation.
You are encouraged to understand the goals and risks of each treatment option so that in working with your doctor, you decide as a team on the best treatment for you. Working together helps you to consider potential benefits against treatment risks and balance them during your treatment.
You must feel free to ask questions at any time, it is advisable to note subjects to discuss and questions to ask your doctor – as sometimes the information can be quite overwhelming.
It is essential to document your side effects, including the date, time and frequency, and severity (mild or strong). You should report these to the nurses, radiotherapists and doctors treating you.
Yes, telling your doctor about side effects is essential to getting good care and living as fully as possible. Untreated side effects can drain you physically and emotionally and detract from your healing. In addition, your response to therapy is unique, and your doctors rely upon your telling them about your side effects.
For a tumour that causes pain, removing or destroying all or part of the tumour with chemotherapy or radiation can help. Pain control often starts with medicine. Many drugs are used to treat pain which the patient and their doctor determine and alter as pain level changes.
Your oncologist will advise you on when and the type of exercises you should do before, during and after treatment. Treating Cancer physicians research chemotherapy and radiation treatment options for their patients to find the right balance of therapy effectiveness while minimizing side effects for each patient. As a result of these efforts, patients can maintain a productive lifestyle and integrate exercise into their lives while in treatment. Exercise is safe for some people going through active cancer treatments, and in fact, can be one of the best ways to relieve some of the symptoms associated with your cancer or cancer treatment.
Yes, many of our patients remain in their jobs and maintain a productive lifestyle during treatment. We are dedicated to finding the most effective balance of treatment to fight cancer yet minimally impact our patients’ daily routines, including work. If you feel you cannot work, then we are also able to make provisions for this.
Screening helps find health problems before symptoms appear. Examples of screening tests include mammograms to find breast cancer and colonoscopy to find colon cancer. Early detection catches cancer when it’s in an earlier, more treatable stage.
We have close relationships with our medical associates, and from these connections, we can promptly schedule screening exams and receive test results. As a result, we strive for the quickest turnaround time.
– You have the right to dignity, respect, privacy and courtesy.
– You may not be discriminated against based on race, origin, religion, age, gender or sexual preferences.
– You have the right to full disclosure of your medical condition, management, costs and risks involved therewith.
– You have the right to transparent billing.
– You have the right to request a second opinion or be referred to another doctor, without prejudice to such instances, your doctor will refer you to a doctor of your choice. You will be liable for the costs thereof, according to the fee structure of that doctor.
– You have the right to ask questions if you are unsure about any aspect of your medical treatment.
– You have the right to refuse treatment, provided that such refusal does not endanger the health of others.
– You have the right to complain about health care services, to have these complaints investigated and to receive a full response on the investigations.
The financial impact of cancer is different for each person and will depend on the cancer type, stage and treatment, and financial situation before the diagnosis.
If you are struggling financially, talk to your doctor. They may suggest ways to reduce your treatment costs, or they might be able to keep seeing you as a public patient. In addition, your doctor can refer you to a social worker or welfare officer for additional advice.
Sorting out financial issues can strain your well-being and your relationships. Talking to a trusted family member or a professional adviser about your finances may help you clarify your situation and find solutions.
One of the best things you can do is ensure you understand your medical aid benefits and liaise with them if you have questions so that you can prevent any unnecessary costs to you.
Consultations: You will be required to settle your account in cash directly at the service date before leaving the Practice. Thereafter, you can submit the claim to your medical scheme for reimbursement.
The terms and tariffs applicable to medical scheme patients vary from scheme to scheme, and even from option to option (plan to plan). You need to obtain those details from your scheme. If you are concerned about the amounts, please talk to your scheme and the practice.
Please enquire with the practice the fees charged for the different types of consultations.
Professional radiotherapy fees payable to the Practice will be charged according to coding structures set by entities with which the Practice has an affiliation (e.g. SAOC or ICON) and not this practice.
The costs associated with the treatment machines will be billed separately by the treating facility and this cost is beyond the control of this Practice.
A request(s) for authorisation for radiation treatments will be submitted directly to your medical scheme. Radiotherapy will not commence until authorisation has been approved, except in the case of an emergency treatment, where the company owning the treatment machine agrees to start treatment before authorisation has been received.
You remain fully liable to settle the full account, irrespective of whether your scheme gave pre-authorisation or not. This also applies if you are dependent on someone else’s medical scheme. In some cases, medical schemes will only pay a portion of the treatment costs, and there is then still a part of the costs/fees outstanding.
If you feel that your medical scheme should have paid in full, you can file a complaint at the Council for Medical Schemes by fax: (012) 431-0608 or at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel that the terms and conditions of the scheme are unfair or that benefits were not communicated clearly, you can complain at the National Consumer Commission at fax: 086 151 5229.