Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a frightening and stressful experience. Whether you, a friend, or close loved one have been recently diagnosed, we know cancer can be an emotional journey for everyone involved.

One of the most important steps you can take is choosing a cancer doctor to lead your care team. This will help you feel more in control of your care and ultimately your health. But how do you choose the right doctor for your cancer care? And what factors should you consider?

Here are 5 tips for choosing a cancer doctor that’s right for you:

Finding and choosing the right cancer doctor and care team is a big and very personal decision. These five tips will make the process easier and help you feel more in control of your cancer journey.

Remember, it’s all about personal choice

Not every doctor is right for every patient. It is important to remember that you have a choice in your healthcare and the doctors that will care for you. Providence Saint John’s Health Center has earned a reputation for clinical excellence and award-winning care in a compassionate and tranquil healing environment. Serving the Santa Monica and Los Angeles communities since 1942, we have a variety of providers that specialize in different areas of cancer for you to choose from, and we offer the latest in diagnostic technology and specialty care.

Get a referral

Tapping your network of friends, family, and your primary care doctor for a referral, may yield the right doctor for you. They may recommend one of the many international leaders in cancer care at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute. Our team of experts bring a high level of experience to every aspect of your treatment. We’re with you from diagnosis through survivorship, and implement a team approach for better outcomes.

Consider the doctor’s access to novel treatments

Once you have a list of possible cancer doctors, consider their access to clinical trials and the latest translational research. If you receive a referral to the Saint John’s Cancer Institute, you can rest assure that our clinicians and scientists are pioneers in oncology, working collaboratively to translate lab-based discoveries into personalized treatment. This bench-to-beside approach fosters a truly beneficial experience for our patients because lab discoveries can lead to novel findings and new directions for therapeutic interventions.

Focus on their experience and expertise

Do some research. Find out how long they have been practicing, how many patients they have treated, how much experience they have with your type of cancer. etc. When it comes to specialized cancer treatment, we understand that experience matters. Recognized throughout the world for surgical excellence, the Saint John’s Cancer Institute attracts some of the most talented researchers and physicians that provide personalized patient care. Our centers of excellence’s, have the combined expertise and experience to provide care for a variety of cancers. You will find comfort in knowing that our team will focus on a cure while minimizing pain, discomfort, and complications. We specialize in minimally invasive treatment that uses robotics and other leading-edge technology.

Once your treatment is over, we help you transition back to normal life and keep a close watch on you. Together, our dedicated team helps you achieve the best outcomes possible.

In addition to attracting some of the most talented researchers and physicians, our institute is setting the standard for cancer care by training the next generation of cancer surgeons. We offer a comprehensive set of highly respected postdoctoral training programs ranging from ACGME-approved complex general surgical oncology fellowship, to clinically oriented urologic oncology, and neurosurgical fellowship. As well as a lab-based molecular oncology fellowship. All of our fellowship programs provide a multi-disciplinary approach to complex cancer care. 

Think about the support services

Cancer can be an emotional journey—so it’s important to arm yourself with a team of specialists to support you throughout your treatment. Through psychiatry, social servicesnutrition, or survivorship programs, excellent cancer care addresses your mental, spiritual, and emotional needs. Consider the services you or a loved one may need and look for a cancer program with this support.

At the Saint John’s Cancer Institute we take an integrated approach to cancer care. Our patients are surrounded by a team of healthcare professionals who focus on the whole person. We offer a variety of cancer support services and ongoing support groups and classes for patients, caregivers, and the community. You can rest assured that you’re not alone in your cancer journey.

Finding the right care team is an extensive and emotional process, however, when you find the right doctor it will make you feel more confident as you approach treatment.

To better support your journey, the Saint John’s Cancer Institute has designed a cancer research institute dedicated to the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. We are at the forefront of studying the biology of cancer as well as expanding treatment for those suffering world-wide. Our patients have access to the latest treatments, clinical trials, and personalized cancer care.

Make an appointment today to learn how we can support your cancer journey.

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About the Author

Fariba Ahdoot

Fariba Ahdoot is the Marketing Manager, Website and Digital Strategy, at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute. She interviews the physicians and researchers to provide useful content for patients, caregivers, and the community.