On 9 January 2009, the cancer site of Cancerstory.com became dormant.
However, the web contents can still be read like a book without further update.
Healing Setback
- Means Test
- Are you ready to "take on" your doctor?
- Can you "fire" your doctor?
- Manage your expectations
- Lack of oncology nutritionists
- Nutrition Maze
- Extravagant claims
- Rare Cancers
- TCM - Controversy
- TCM - Book Review
- Reflection
- Magic Cure
- Man-made Rules
- It's about money
Understanding Cancer
- What is Cancer?
- Stage of Cancer
- Dictionary of Cancer Terms
- Tumour Marker
- Self Examination
- Symptoms of Various Cancer
- Healing & Curing
- Human Papilloma Virus
Cancer Challenge
Diagnosis
   - Cancer's Victim Experience
   - The 8 Overcoming Tools
   - Motivational Message
   - Counselling/Cancer Helpline
   - Financial Issues
   - Cancer Checklist
   - Living With Cancer
   - Free Transport/Financial Aid
Acceptance
   - Seek Second Opinion
   - Learn About Your Illness
Treatment
   - Conventional Treatment
   - Clinical Trials in Singapore
   - Complementary Treatment
   - Coping With Side Effects
   - Coping With Hair Loss
   - Sexuality and Cancer
   - Hospitals/Cancer Organisations
Surviving Cancer
   - Importance Of Support
   - Support Group
Hospice Care
   - Cancer's Victim Experience
   - Living Fully in the Face of Death
   - Types Of Hospice Care
   - Home Help Service
   - Directory Of Hospices
   - Pain Management
   - Advance Medical Directive Act
Special Corners
- Leukemia
- Kids' Corner
- Children with Special Needs
- Women's Corner
- Cancer Prevention Tips
- Products recalled by HSA
- Fundraising for cancer organizations
- Stroke
- Used Medical Appliances
- Will & Estate
- Water Cures, Drugs Kill
- Jurong Health Connect
- Mesothelioma
Art transforms into compassion
Acknowledgement

In this section, CancerStory.com highlights the importance of the following :

Some questions that you may want to ask your doctor

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What is the stage of the disease?
  • What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?
  • What are the chances that the treatment will be successful?
  • Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me?
  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
  • How long will treatment last?
  • Will I have to change my normal activities?
  • What is the treatment likely to cost?
  • Can I use complementary therapy while I am having conventional treatment?
  • Where can I seek a second opinion on my illness?
Monitor your illness and look out for symptoms

From my past experience, it would be advisable for you to monitor your illness and take charge of your treatment. We must not expect too much from the oncologists as their knowledge on cancer may not be complete. Very rarely will you be able to find a caring and compassionate oncologist.

When the cancerous cells spread to my mother's brain, I noticed that my mother's memory was deteriorating. When I made a telephone call to her medical oncologist and told her about the problem, she replied that failing memory was common among elderly people. I refused to buy her reasoning because my mother was then only 64 years old. To resolve our disagreement, she ordered a brain scan for my mother. When the results showed that there were brain metastases, she claimed that only 5% of colorectal cancer patients have brain metastases. She then indicated a poor prognosis of 6 months. However when my mother lived beyond her prognosis, the oncologists overlooked the symptoms of new brain metastases. If the oncologists had been more attentive, they would have suspected new brain metastases when my mother complained that her legs were weak. I suspected new brain metastases but was dismissed by the radiation oncologist. He claimed that the weakness was caused by low sodium level in the blood. Why didn't he suspect of new brain metastases?

Until today I cannot forgive myself for not knowing the full symptoms of brain cancer. If I had known it, I would have insisted that the oncologists ordered a MRI for the brain. At least I could have given my mother another chance to fight against it. This is a costly lesson for me! Click here to read about our lousy experience with the healthcare provider.

Therefore it is very important for us to have a good knowledge on the symptoms of various types of cancer. The progression of cancer need not be the same for each cancer patient. My mother's cancer experience could be unique. For the benefit of other cancer patients, you might like to share your medical history as well. If you are keen to share, please submit your medical history to admin@cancerstory.com. Your identity will be kept confidential.

To read the medical history of other cancer patients, please click here.

Collate and compile your own medical record

On many occasions, the hospital staff could not trace my mother's X-ray, MRI, and CT scan. To eliminate such problems, I managed to get the hospital to release them for my own safekeeping. I also requested the oncologists to give me the photocopy of such reports. I would also contact the nurse to obtain the CEA results. Monitoring of tumour marker is important even though it can be misleading at times.

If you prepare your medical records, they will come in handy when you are hospitalized.

From my experience, the hospital staff would take a while to retrieve your medical case sheet.

Usually, the medical officer will perform the routine task of interviewing and taking down your medical history. To make things easier for all parties involved, I would simply show them my record.

Check accuracy of your medical bill

From my past experience, the hospital staff often make mistakes in their billings.

On one incident the hospital overcharged my mother's chemotherapy treatment by S$880.00.

Learn about other cancer patients' bad experiences with their healthcare providers

In view of the current shortage of government doctors and nurses, I simply cannot imagine what kind of health care service one will receive. In order to give the best support to your loved ones during hospitalization, especially when they are illiterate and cannot speak English and Mandarin, my advice is to keep vigil over them throughout 24 hours. After experiencing some unpleasant incidents, my family members took turns to look after my mother whenever she was hospitalized.

Family support and care is of utmost importance because the patient is someone dearest and special to you.

We invite you to share your unpleasant experiences with your healthcare professionals, nurses and hospitals. The objective is to alert cancer patients and their families of certain unpleasant events and to avoid them and learn from others' lousy experiences. To avoid unnecessary legal suit, you must not mention the name of the "condemned" healthcare professionals, nurses and hospitals. Send your letter of complaint to admin@cancerstory.com



CancerStory members' unpleasant experiences with their healthcare professionals

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