Treatment interruptions, for various reasons, do happen. When conditions allow you to resume treatment, your radiation oncologist is the best person to determine how to proceed with your care and any alteration that need to be made to your schedule.
Natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and earthquakes can happen at any time. For cancer patients, it is especially important to be prepared should something happen that would disrupt your treatment. In the event of a disaster your safety should be considered first.
Here is a list of things patients undergoing radiation therapy should do to be prepared:
- Talk with your radiation oncology treatment team about what to do.
- What is your treatment center’s plan in the event of a disaster.
- How will you stay in contact with the facility – Be sure to have your health care provider's contact information and other important phone numbers written down on an index card and with you at all times.
- How can you access your medical records should you be displaced long-term.
- Know your exact diagnosis, cancer stage and any medications you take.
- If you are receiving radiation or chemotherapy, know where you are in your treatment cycle.
- Be sure to have your insurance card. You will need to contact your insurance provider in the event you are displaced and need to seek care.
- Work with your family and friends to create a plan identifying who can help you during this event.