#ask an md
Ask An Oncologist: Honest Answers to Your Cancer Questions
With that one-word diagnosis your life has changed so profoundly that everything else now takes second place. You are frightened, anxious and depressed. And worse, you are being asked to make a lot of difficult decisions for which you feel you do not have sufficient background or understanding.
You are barraged by a variety of intimidating medical professionals using terms you don’t understand. You are worried about pain, money, your job, your family, your life—and your death. You wish you had someone to talk to who could help explain what is going on, decipher the medical jargon, and point you in the right direction. You wish you could pick up the phone and call someone who has the answers.
Instead, you pick up a copy of Ask an Oncologist: Honest Answers to Your Cancer Questions and let Dr. Westbrook answer your questions and calm your fears. A medical oncologist who has treated cancer patients for more than 25 years, Dr. Westbrook will take you step by step through what you need to know as a patient in an easy-to-read question and answer format. Along the way you’ll learn some general principles about cancer as a disease, how it is viewed by your doctor and how that viewpoint influences treatment decisions. In-depth sections at the end of each chapter provide additional detail and technical information for those who want to know more.
Ask an Oncologist is a unique book. It is a book about cancer written by a physician for patients and their caregivers. It provides a wealth of practical advice—and hope. But it’s not a typical “feel-good” book about beating cancer. It tells it like it is—honestly, and with no holds barred. It addresses topics most patients would like to ask their doctor but rarely feel comfortable with, such as the cost of medical care, cancer pain and pain medication, suicide, and death. It provides insight into the confusing world of doctors and interns, clinics and hospitals. It helps the reader begin to understand the structure of our health care system and how to navigate it to her own advantage.
But there’s more to the book than just clinical advice.
Dr. Westbrook reveals “trade secrets” that doctors would rather you didn’t know. Some examples: How an oncology practice makes money by treating people, not by curing them. When to change doctors—and how to do it. Strategies to save money on health care, whether you have private insurance or Medicate. How to initiate a malpractice suit.
Ask an Oncologist takes an unconventional look at the health care industry, from Medicare to hospital corporations to medical malpractice. We see why medical care is so expensive and how to minimize some of your own costs when you are a patient. And we recognize how the delivery of health care is driven to a large part by these economic forces, as well as by medical traditions that dictate who does what and where it is done.