Cancer is a difficult journey, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Your primary care provider (PCP) can be a valuable resource and support throughout your cancer experience.
What is a Primary Care Provider?
A primary care provider (PCP) is a medical professional who provides general healthcare services to patients. PCPs can be doctors, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Your PCP is usually the first point of contact for your health concerns, and can provide guidance and support throughout your cancer journey.
How Can I Find a Primary Care Provider?
If you don’t have a PCP or need to find a new one, you can start by asking your friends and family for recommendations. You can also search online or call your insurance company to find a list of providers in your area. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can call the offices to ask about their experience treating cancer patients, and to see if they accept your insurance.
What Should I Look for in a Primary Care Provider?
When you’re looking for a PCP, it’s important to find someone you feel comfortable with and who you can trust. You should also make sure that they have experience treating cancer patients and are familiar with the type of cancer you have.
How a Primary Care Provider Can Help
Here are six ways your PCP can help:
1. Providing General Support and Guidance
Your PCP can provide general support and guidance throughout your cancer journey. They can answer any questions you have about your cancer diagnosis and treatment and provide referrals to other specialists if needed.
2. Answering Your Questions About Cancer
Your PCP can answer any questions you have about your cancer, including questions about your diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis. They can also provide information about clinical trials and other research studies that might be relevant to your case.
3. Connecting You to Resources and Services
Your PCP can connect you to resources and services to help you cope with your cancer diagnosis and treatment. These resources might include support groups, counseling services, and financial assistance programs.
4. Monitoring Your Overall Health
Your PCP can monitor your overall health during and after your cancer treatment. They can provide guidance on managing side effects, monitor for signs of cancer recurrence, and manage any other health concerns that might arise.
5. Coordinating End-of-Life Care
If you are nearing the end of your life, your PCP can coordinate your end-of-life care. They can help you develop a plan that meets your needs and preferences, and can provide referrals to hospice and other supportive services.
6. Supporting Your Family and Caregivers
Your PCP can also provide support to your family and caregivers. They can answer questions about your cancer, provide guidance on how to best support you, and connect them to resources and services as needed.
Your primary care provider can play a vital role in your cancer experience, providing support and guidance throughout your journey. From helping you to understand your diagnosis and treatment options, to offering emotional and practical support, your primary care provider can be a valuable resource during this difficult time. If you have any concerns or questions about your cancer experience, be sure to speak with your primary care provider for guidance.
Aspen Medical Center provides primary care and urgent care. We are a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. If you need a primary care physician in Santa Fe, get in touch with us today!