Thanks to private funding, 100% of every dollar donated to The Lustgarten Foundation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.

Checklist for Newly Diagnosed Patients

As overwhelming as a pancreatic cancer diagnosis can be, the most important thing is to act quickly and put a treatment plan into place, as there are therapies available that can benefit you. At the Lustgarten Foundation, we are committed to helping you fight this disease and have developed the checklist below for immediate steps you and your loved ones should take upon receiving this diagnosis.

Understand Your Disease

Thoroughly research your pancreatic cancer stage using only reputable sources, such as the Lustgarten Foundation, and Let’s Win.

Seek Opinions From at Least Two Experts

Make sure that one of your consults is from a large academic institution where there are oncologists who specialize in treating pancreatic cancer and who see many patients with the disease.

Get Information

Inquire about having your tumor genetically sequenced because the mutations found in your tumor can impact your treatment plan. Research the latest treatments and inquire about clinical trials for which you might quality.

Know Your Healthcare Team

Treating pancreatic cancer requires an interdisciplinary approach that involves specialists including your medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeon, pancreas nurse navigator, nurse practitioner, chemotherapy nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, nutritionist, social worker, financial counselor, and genetic counselor. Continue to see other doctors who are involved in your overall care, including your cardiologist, internist, etc. Have all doctors’ phone numbers written down in one place as well as programmed into your cell phone in case you need to contact your doctor or treatment facility when you’re not at home.

Contact Your Insurance Company 

Thoroughly understand your health insurance policy. Know what services are covered and what your out-of-pocket obligation is per calendar year. Request a case manager to help you navigate through the intricacies of your particular policy.

Get Organized 

Record your questions in a notebook and bring it with you to all doctors’ appointments, and use it to keep track of test results and appointment dates, etc.

Develop a Support System

Have someone accompany you to oncology appointments for additional support and clarification of the proposed plan of care.

Delegate Responsibilities

Enlist the help of friends, family members and neighbors who want to help with childcare, errands/chores, meal preparation, driving, etc.

Control What You Can

Closely monitor your nutrition, physical activity and pain level and provide feedback to your healthcare team.

Initiate Goals of Care

Incorporate the palliative care team to help you control your symptoms so that you can have a better quality of life. The palliative care team is focused on providing symptom relief at every stage of your illness. Proper symptom management will help you stay on your prescribed treatment plan.

Take Care of Your Emotional Health

Maintain daily routines and continue to partake in activities you enjoy as much as possible. If needed, seek out supportive services available at your treating institution or at another healthcare facility.

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