Living with Cancer > Treatment Choices
Good communication is key to bridging cultural gaps, said Gloria
Edwards, director of Multicultural Health at the University of
Michigan Health System. Here are some issues you may need to
discuss with your health-care providers.
It's important to talk with your
health-care team if you have taken any herbs, supplements
or other forms of traditional remedies. Because of the complex
nature of cancer care, some of these remedies may interfere with
Maintaining good nutrition is necessary
to help your body manage the effects of cancer treatment. Talk
to your health-care team if you have special dietary restrictions.
Let your health-care team know
if you have special concerns about modesty. Although the U-M
Comprehensive Cancer Center will not always be able to place
patients with practitioners of the same gender, the staff will work
with you to try to accommodate your needs as much as possible.
If you have a special holiday coming up, let your
health-care team know. It may be possible to schedule treatments
around important dates.
Every culture has different
taboos. For some, it''s uncomfortable when health-care providers
talk to adult children about their parents' care. Other families try
to shield patients from stress by excluding them from difficult
conversations. It's important for every patient to play an active
role in letting your health-care team know what's right for you.
For some, like Darrin Patterson, cancer
treatment may cause patients to reframe long-held beliefs.
Consider talking to a member of your clergy. The Cancer Center
also offers free counseling through its PsychOncology Clinic and
the U-M Spiritual Care Department.
See also Paths to Healing
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