So You’ve Decided to Go to A Clinic… Now You Just Need to Choose Which One
When you begin looking into alternative medicine, it can be extremely overwhelming. Terms like the Gerson’s Diet, b-17 and hyperthermia come at you at the speed of light (or the speed of Google, at any rate.) The research seems to magically create more things to research. By the time you decide to take the leap and go to an alternative cancer clinic, you have a whole new series of questions. We know, because we’ve been there too.
That’s why we here at HealNavigator decided to compile a list of 12 essential questions to ask the doctor during your initial consultation to help you decide which clinic is right for you.
1. Have You Treated My Specific Cancer and What Positive Results Have You Seen?
Most alternative clinics cannot provide exact statistics or success rates. But they will be able to tell you whether or not they commonly treat your specific type of cancer and what success stories they have had in that regard. Some clinics will provide references for you so you can speak with previous patients of theirs – we highly recommend that you do so! Talking to patients will give you an entirely different (and unbiased) viewpoint that will help you make an informed decision.
If the clinics can’t – sometimes we can! Whenever it’s possible, we’re happy to put you in touch with previous patients who have given their consent to be contacted by prospective patients.
2. Do You Provide a Post-Care Protocol For Patients? Will I Have Someone to Talk to?
When caught up in the whirlwind of choosing the right treatment, it is easy to forget a little thing called ‘post-care.’ Most clinic stays (whether in or out-patient) last 3-6 weeks, during which you are given round-the-clock care and supervision. It can be a very overwhelming experience when you head home after your treatments and you’re standing in your kitchen, not sure where to begin. When faced with the prospect of continuing therapies daily, either on your own or with the help of a caregiver, it can feel extremely daunting. The more support you can get from your medical team the better. Several clinics offer post-care services and support in their packages. Always ask what that entails, and what time period it will cover. Having a professional support system that you can call and ask questions (you WILL have questions), is very important and will make continuing your therapies at home much easier.
3. What Early Results Would Indicate that the Treatment is Going Well? How and When Is That Measured?
This is a big one! It’s easy to go down the path of “Wait. How could my cancer possibly disappear in two or three weeks?” Make sure to ask for early indicators of improvement and success, then ask for a detailed explanation as to what about those early markers indicate that the treatment is going well. We are big advocates for understanding the nitty-gritty of your treatments. If you know what to be on the lookout for, it will give you something to look forward to and gage your progress by.
4. How Will My Treatment be Personalized?
Another big one! Most clinics do some pretty intricate testing when you first arrive to learn what your body specifically will respond to best. Not every person is the same, and while it is good to have a basic proven protocol, it is also good to know that the clinic is making the effort to cater to your specific needs and requirements.
5. What is Your Number One Goal in my Treatment?
There’s the easy answer here, of course – the goal is always going to be to get rid of your cancer, right? That being said, the way that this question is answered will be a good indicator of how your treatment will be approached. For example, one clinician may say that the goal is to heal the patient, not kill the tumor, because ultimately, that is more important and the two are inevitably connected. Other clinicians may tell you that their goal is to achieve a positive first step, such as stopping the blood flow to a tumor, or helping a patient gain weight. You can discover a lot of important information in how this is answered.
6. How Often Will I Actually be Seen by a Doctor?
Sometimes patients will arrive at a clinic under the impression that they are going to be seen by a doctor every single day, only to be disappointed or upset that this is not the case. While clinics do have a doctor on staff at all times, you might only meet with the doctor two or three times during your stay. This is important to clarify before you commit to a clinic so you can manage expectations and be sure to choose the one that is right for you.
7. Can I Continue the Therapies at Home on My Own?
If you have done your research on alternative care, you will already know that the simple answer to this is – yes. However, once you have selected a protocol, you will want to know the tangible ways in which you will continue your care when you are home. Will you need a caregiver? To learn how to give yourself shots? IVs? Supplements? Emotional therapy? A juicer or hyperthermia machine for your home? Ask what this would look like and entail. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, it helps to know what you will be dealing with.
8. What If It Doesn’t Work?
On the surface, this one sounds a little simplistic, but we think it’s an important question because, let’s be honest – we’re all thinking it. While there is no ‘good’ answer to this, how a clinician answers you will show you their approach to their patients and their practice. Do they have ways to adjust the treatment in these cases? Do they have several other protocols they can offer if the suggested one does not work? Is their bedside manner supportive? These are all important aspects to consider while choosing a clinic.
9. Are There ANY Additional Costs Whatsoever to the Price Quoted?
Always, always ask this question, and don’t be scared to get specific! Are there any additional costs in regards to therapies? No? How about the tests? What about post-care expenses? Take your time, and make sure to cover all your bases to avoid surprises later. This also will provide you with the most definitive way to compare value between clinics as you make your choice.
10. What Kind of Diet Do do You Provide For Patients?
There are so many diets in the alternative world! Find out what the clinic provides for their patients, and don’t be scared to ask why. While there are many trains of thought in regards to what is best, (vegetarian, ketogenic, vegan, etc.,) some basic rules apply. No sugar, no hydrogenated oils, and organic foods!
11. Is There a Doctor on Call 24/7?
Whether you require around-the-clock medical attention or not, this is still an important one. For inpatient stays, you will want to know if a doctor on call at all times or if there are shifts covered solely by nurses. For outpatient stays, you will want to know if a doctor is available 24 hours a day to answer questions or should any complications arise after-hours. While this seems like something that should be taken for granted, you want to confirm this with them so you know that your needs will always be covered and attended to in a professional manner.
12. Do You Address the Emotional Well-Being of the Patient? If Yes, How?
How you approach your treatment is your choice, and while not everyone is interested in this aspect of alternative care, for others it is an extremely important part of the healing journey. What is emotional care? It can mean something different for everyone. Some clinics deeply believe that all cancer stems from emotional trauma and aims to treat that as well. How this is done can differ – some clinics integrate Recall Healing, others have religious practices, some recommend meditation or talk therapy. Find out what resonates with you and why the clinic you’re interviewing does what they do. Always keep an open mind when you are talking to them, and make sure you feel comfortable with that form of emotional treatment or social support.
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