Physician (MD, DO)
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Essential Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery
2618 E Bankhead
Weatherford, Texas 76086 [MAP]
For an appointment, call (817) 594-5880
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Tips & Wisdom

Cancer Treatments

Many people with cancer want to take an active part in making decisions about their medical care. It is natural to want to learn all you can about your disease and treatment choices. However, shock and stress after the diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything you want to ask the doctor. It often helps to make a list of questions before an appointment.

To help remember what the doctor says, you may take notes or ask whether you may use a tape recorder. Some people also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor - to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen.

You do not need to ask all your questions at once. You will have other chances to ask the doctor or nurse to explain things that are not clear and to ask for more information.

Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat cancer include surgeons, medical oncologists, hematologists, and radiation oncologists.

Getting a Second Opinion

Before starting treatment, you may want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Many insurance companies will cover a second opinion if your doctor requests it. It may take some time and effort to gather medical records and arrange to see another doctor. Usually it is not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. In most cases, the delay in starting treatment will not make treatment less effective. But some people with cancer need treatment right away. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor.

Treatment Methods

The treatment plan depends mainly on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease.

Doctors also consider the patient's age and general health. Often, the goal of treatment is to cure the cancer. In other cases, the goal is to control the disease or to reduce symptoms for as long as possible. The treatment plan may change over time.

Most treatment plans include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Some involve hormone therapy or biological therapy. 

In addition, stem cell transplantation may be used so that a patient can receive very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Some cancers respond best to a single type of treatment. Others may respond best to a combination of treatments.

Treatments may work in a specific area (local therapy) or throughout the body (systemic therapy):

  • Local therapy removes or destroys cancer in just one part of the body. Surgery to remove a tumor is local therapy. Radiation to shrink or destroy a tumor also is usually local therapy.
  • Systemic therapy sends drugs or substances through the bloodstream to destroy cancer cells all over the body. It kills or slows the growth of cancer cells that may have spread beyond the original tumor. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy are usually systemic therapy.

Your doctor can describe your treatment choices and the expected results. You and your doctor can work together to decide on a treatment plan that is best for you.

Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Side effects depend mainly on the type and extent of the treatment. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may change from one treatment session to the next.

Before treatment starts, the health care team will explain possible side effects and suggest ways to help you manage them. This team may include nurses, a dietitian, a physical therapist, and others. 

At any stage of cancer, supportive care is available to relieve the side effects of therapy, to control pain and other symptoms, and to ease emotional and practical problems. 

You may want to talk to the doctor about taking part in a clinical trial (a research study of new treatment methods). 

You may want to ask the doctor these questions before treatment begins:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • Has the cancer spread? If so, where? What is the stage of the disease?
  • What is the goal of treatment? What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?
  • What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can side effects be managed?
  • Will infertility be a side effect of my treatment? Can anything be done about that? Should I consider storing sperm or eggs?
  • What can I do to prepare for treatment?
  • How often will I have treatments? How long will my treatment last?
  • Will I have to change my normal activities? If so, for how long?
  • What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover the costs?
  • What new treatments are under study? Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me?

Reference: National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Patient Education Resources

AbobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport®) for Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA) is a form of botulinum toxin injection that provides temporary improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). There is little to no downtime after the injection, which is administered in the doctor's office. Though approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminisration in April 2009, Dysport® has been used safely in other countries since 1991. How does Dysport® work? Dysport® works by blocking the signal from the nerve to the muscles, resulting in a reduction of muscle activity and temporarily preventing contraction of the muscles that cause wrinkles. See larger image Just 1 injection into each of the 5 points above the eyebrows reduces the appearance of frown lines. The untreated facial muscles still contract normally, allowing you to freely show facial expressions, such as smiling. You should wait at least 90 days between Dysport® treatments. The safety of Dy...
Acclaimâ„¢ laser
The Acclaim™ laser is a high-powered Nd:YAG laser that is capable of treating all skin types, including dark skin. Before and After Treatment See larger image The Acclaim™ laser may be used to treat a variety of skin conditions including: Laser hair removal. Almost everyone has unwanted hair somewhere on their body. Unfortunately, traditional hair removal routines can be tedious, painful and expensive over time. Shaving may last a day, waxing a couple of weeks, but only laser hair removal offers long-term results. Facial and leg vein removal. Leg and facial veins can be bothersome at best, unattractive at work. Laser treatment of veins, including spider veins, can be achieved in as little as 1-2 visits. The laser treatment is fast, powerful and safe. There is no down time and to maximize comfort, and a unique technology is used to protect and cool the skin before, during, and after the Acclaim™ laser treatment. The SmartCool sy...

Conditions Treated

Aging Skin & Wrinkles
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Atopic Dermatitis
Hair Loss (Balding)
Seborrheic Keratosis
Skin Cancer

Education & Training

  • Residency: St Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor
  • Internship: Corpus Christi Osteopathic Hospital
  • Medical School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
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