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Managing Your Medical Care: Breast Cancer: Once A Treatment Decision Is Made

Set Doctor Appointments And Treatment Schedules That Work For You

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Doctor's appointments:

  • Schedule doctor appointments for early in the day or at the beginning of that part of the day when the doctor sees patients. This generally gets you in and out quickly. Doctors' schedules tend to back up as the day progresses.
  • If you have appointments with different doctors and/or tests coming up, consider scheduling them for the same day, or only setting doctor appointments for the same day every week.

Radiation treatments: As a general matter, radiation treatments are scheduled at the same time every day for a period of weeks. Set a time slot that fits for your life. If the time isn't immediately available, check to find out how long you can wait to start treatment without affecting the effectiveness of your treatment. Perhaps the time slot will become available in time. If not, consider using another radiation facility in your area.

Surgeries: In hospital surgeries should be scheduled for early in the morning, early in the week - not just before a holiday or weekend.  

  • Doctors are more fresh when they start their day, and schedules are less likely to be backed up. As a side benefit, if you have to stop eating the night before, you don’t have to be hungry in the morning for longer than necessary.
  • Hospitals tend to have limited staffing on weekends and holidays. If surgery takes place early in the week, you have the rest of the week at full staffing if needed.

Elective surgery should not be scheduled for the end of June or beginning of July when residents just start practicing medicine.

If you work:

  • Consider planning surgery for vacation time or during business slow times. 
  • If you schedule outpatient procedures for Friday afternoons, you have the weekend to recover with minimal loss of work. 

Chemotherapy treatments: Schedule chemo treatments for Friday afternoons to give yourself the weekend to recover without losing work or using sick days.

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