Insulinoma care can be complex, and for the patient the journey can encompass not only a whole host of emotions, but also a whole range of investigations, treatments and healthcare professionals. The very fact that there is often not just one treatment option at diagnosis and throughout the patient journey, means that there has to be a collaboration among all key healthcare professional groups, who are making clinical decisions for individual patients.
This collaboration has been termed an MDT (multidisciplinary team). This is a formula that is now being used across the world in the care of cancer patients.
A patient may see some or all of the following people:
- Nuclear Medicine Physician
- Radiology staff
- Nurse Specialist
- Palliative Care Team
- Pain Team
- General Practitioner/Practice Nurse
- Counselling Staff
- Various Technicians
- Clinic Staff
- Hospital Staff
- Hospice Team
Patients can feel more confident in the knowledge that all aspects of their care have been discussed and that the best possible treatment plan will be formulated. A well-coordinated and disciplined MDT is a very important aspect for care when striving to achieve the best quality of life and the best outcome for insulinoma patients.
A few things to keep in mind:
- The most important member of the healthcare team is YOU
- YOU know more about YOU than anyone else does
- Your doctor can help you more if you are an active partner in your treatment
- If you are dissatisfied with the care that you receive, and discussion with your doctor does not resolve the situation, you can ask for a second opinion - how you feel about the care you receive is the most important thing.
Bring a trusted friend or family member with you to the appointment if you can. If you are feeling anxious, you may not hear everything that’s said, or ask all the questions you wanted to. It helps to have additional ears there to listen, and your guest may help to make sure your concerns are brought up.
Try to get into the practice of taking notes on how you are feeling, and take these notes into your appointments. Write down a list of questions you want to ask. If you don’t understand the answers to any of your questions, don’t be embarrassed to ask for the answer to be repeated or rephrased. Make sure you know who your point of contact is and how to get hold of them in case you have questions later.
Deciding on a treatment strategy can be difficult so choosing to get a second opinion is quite common. Physicians are usually very open to this because they appreciate the fact that making an effective treatment choice can be very challenging.
If getting a second opinion through your specialist is not possible, you can get a referral from any of your physicians, including your general practitioner.
You have the right to know as much about your own prognosis as you wish and you have the right to know the overall treatment strategy, including what options are available to you if initial treatments are not successful in stabilising your disease.
You have the right to make decisions for yourself, even if the decision is against having medical treatment or to end medical treatment.