Noetic Live™ FAQ

 

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Have questions about our video chat service Noetic Live™? Check out this FAQ!

 

What does ‘Noetic’ mean?

Noetic is an adjective of Greek origin meaning of or relating to mental activity or the intellect. We aim to educate the public, so we feel this is a fitting name!

 

How do I book a Noetic Live™ session?

Please note that Noetic Live™ is currently offered to U.S. residents only. 

After registering a Cancer Expert Now account, be sure you have a subscription that allows you to use Noetic Live™. Go to the subscription page after you register to choose a Premium subscription. You can also pay for a one-time session when you submit your request while using a Basic account.

Go to the My Records section and fill out your patient case, including your medical history, treatment history, and concerns you would like to discuss.  Please be as thorough as possible. You can also upload medical documents in this section.

In the Noetic Live section, click the ‘Click here to schedule a session’ button and enter your available dates and times over the next 7 days. Include days and times that will work on the weekends. Please block off at least 30 minutes of your time for the session.

A Cancer Expert Now team member will be in contact to finish the scheduling process and provide instruction on how to join the session.

 

Can I share my medical documents with an expert over Noetic Live™?

Yes, we do allow you to share your uploaded medical documents for a Noetic Live™ session. Once an expert has been officially booked for you, they will have access to view whatever you’ve uploaded to your account in My Records.

 

Why can I not choose which expert I speak with?

In the interest of booking your session as soon as possible, your request is submitted to multiple experts, all of which have expertise in your tumor type of interest. If you do have a specific expert you would like to speak to, please include their name in your request.

 

How long does it take for me to be booked for my session?

We encourage our experts to respond to Noetic Live™ requests within 48 hours.

 

What if something comes up and I need to cancel the session?

Please send an email to support@cancerexpertnow.com if you need to cancel a Noetic Live™ session. Please cancel with at least 24 hours notice. Cancelling with less than 24 hours notice will result in a cancellation fee.

 

Where is the session recording located and how long does it stay in my account?

Your session recording is located in My Account under the Noetic™ Live tab. The recording will be automatically uploaded to your account once your session is completed and will remain in your account to view as many times as you like for 60 days. After 60 days, the recording will be deleted for security purposes.

 

Have a question about Noetic Live™ that wasn’t answered here? Ask us by email at support@cancerexpertnow.com and we can help!

 

Evaluating Your Own Research

 

Trying to find some answers on the internet.

 

Any cancer patient will feel compelled to research their disease and doctors often encourage this so that patients can play a more active role in their treatment decisions. However, with the wealth of information available in books and on the Internet, you will need a doctor’s opinion to determine if what you are reading is accurate and applies to your unique case. Healthcare websites and books are best to learn general information about your cancer type and stage; your doctor is the best source for more detailed information that pertains to your specific case.

Always note the sources of your research to help detect potential biases and scams. Lookout for sponsored articles which are actually ads used to drive you to another website or to sell you a product. If amazing results are reported without solid data to back up the claims, be skeptical. Never purchase a healthcare product without first consulting your doctor.

A few examples of reliable websites for general cancer information include:

National Cancer Institute

American Cancer Society

Cancer Information from American Society of Clinical Oncology

Patient Resource Publishing

Medline Plus

Do not make any decisions based on your research findings without first consulting your doctor. With millions of articles readily available and new ones being published every day, filter your research by discussing it with your doctor to make sure you have a balanced and accurate picture of your diagnosis and treatment options. When you doctor is not available, Cancer Expert Now can provide you with the critical expertise you need to properly evaluate your research.

 

When your next in-person visit is weeks away, don’t let your questions fade. Cancer Expert Now offers the perfect service for you to discuss your research with an expert cancer doctor. Register or sign in and use our Noetic™ and Noetic Live™ services and get answers from cancer experts! 

 

Celebrate the Caregivers in Your Life

 

Multi Generation African American Family Relaxing In Park

 

November is National Family Caregivers Month, but anytime is a perfect time to reflect on the caregivers and supporters in your life. Whether they be parents, spouses, children, relatives, friends, or community members, caregivers fill many important roles for patients and are a tremendous help during treatment and recovery.

 

Caregivers should also be care-receivers. Here are ways you can celebrate these special people in your life:

  • Consider writing a letter or note telling them how they’ve helped you and what they mean to you
  • Have a skill with art or crafts? Love to cook? Make your caregiver something special!
  • Attend a caregiver workshop together and discuss some changes to make in your daily arrangement
  • Offer some time off from caregiving so they can take some time for themselves. Enlist other loved ones to help fill the role or help out with chores like yard work, preparing meals, cleaning the home, or watching young children.

 

Everyone benefits when caregivers are happy and healthy. Encourage your caregivers to take care of themselves! Here are some tips for self-care from caregivers for caregivers:

  • Let go of the small things and enjoy the present
  • Don’t feel guilty about your negative feelings. Feeling what you need to feel in the moment is normal and healthy. Take a moment to process and move forward.
  • Set reasonable goals for yourself and your family. Be open to modifying your normal routine in favor of simpler, less stressful action.
  • Ask for help when needed and accept help when offered. Politely decline help that isn’t needed at the time and assure the individual that you will let them know when you could use their help.
  • Take time for yourself. Regularly engage in activities that de-stress yourself and contribute to your overall health. And don’t feel guilty about it.
  • Make a medical appointment that you have been neglecting, be it with your physician, dentist, therapist, or other healthcare provider

 

Helpful Resources

Make a caregiving plan to help coordinate patient care at home. See here for more details: http://www.helpforcancercaregivers.org/content/making-caregiving-plan

My Cancer Circle is a tool for caregivers to help organize their family and community in caregiving efforts: http://mycancercircle.lotsahelpinghands.com/caregiving/home/

CancerCare.org: http://www.cancercare.org/tagged/caregiving

 

Who are the special caregivers in your life? Have an idea to share on how to celebrate those special people? Have tips or advice for other caregivers? Share your stories with us and the CEN community at our Facebook group!

 

Are you a caregiver in need of cancer education? Register or sign in and use our Noetic™ and Noetic Live™ services and get answers from cancer experts! 

 

The Hidden Cost of Cancer: Travel

 

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When you find out you have cancer, you know your life is going to change. Unfortunately, the impact on the finances of cancer patients and their families is one of the major burdens of the disease. In addition to the costs of hospital visits and treatments are hidden costs that are less obvious but no less impactful.

Travel is one such hidden cost. Depending on where one lives, a patient may have to travel a significant distance, often times to major metropolitan areas, to visit their doctor, undergo testing, and receive their treatment. They may need to travel multiple times a week which quickly adds up their travel costs. Common costs for travel include gas, tolls, airfare, taxi fare, bus fare, parking, lodging, food, and caregivers taking time from work to aid in the travel.

Organizations the can help with housing and travel assistance for cancer patients and caregivers include:

Where you choose to receive treatment is a personal decision. With Cancer Expert Now, you can choose to stay local for your treatment while receiving education from top cancer experts around the country.

 

Do you know of a great organization that helps cancer patients and caregivers with travel and housing assistance? Share with us on our Facebook group!

 

Common Cancer Imaging Tests

 

Male doctor explaining spine x-ray to patient in the medical office

 

There are multiple types of scans your doctor can order to diagnose and track the progression of your cancer. The scan your doctor orders depends on the type and location of the cancer and a variety of other factors. Some of the more widely-used scans are detailed below:

 

Computed Tomography (CT) Scans

CT scans are performed using X-ray equipment to show cross-sections of areas of the body. Today’s modern CT scans can be used to produce detailed 3-D images of tumors in the body. A CT scan may be performed with contrast dye that helps highlight blood vessels and other nearby structures in and around the tumor.

 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI, like a CT scan, also shows cross-sections of the body, but a key difference is that MRI scans use strong magnets instead of radiation to produce the images. An MRI is particularly good at imaging soft tissues like the brain or the inside of bone. Sometimes contrast dye is also used to prepare for an MRI.

 

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans

A type of nuclear medicine scan, PET scans require the patient to swallow, inject, or inhale a radioactive tracer which emits low levels of radiation. Since cancer cells grow very fast, they will take up more of the tracer than normal, healthy cells. The PET scan shows which areas of the body are emitting the most radiation, pinpointing the location of the tumor or tumors. The tracer only stays in the body for a short time, so radiation exposure is minimal and low risk.

 

Ultrasound

Ultrasound scans use soundwaves to form an image of the inside of the body. They are used to locate tumors when they do not show up well on X-rays and they require little to no preparation by the patient. While the sound waves will return an image for a solid tumor, they will pass through fluid-filled cysts and not return a useful image. Ultrasound images are not as detailed as the other scans but they are often used to help guide a needle during a biopsy.

 

Mammography

Mammography is a specific type of low-dose X-ray scan used to detect tumors in breast tissue. For screening purposes, images from two different angles are taken. It is currently recommended for women to have a screening performed every 1-2 years starting no later than 50 years of age until at least age 74 years. Recommendations for when to start receiving mammograms and how often vary and can depend on a patient’s risk factors. When a mammogram is used for diagnostic purposes, extra images are taken.

 

Which scans are best for certain tumor types? What should I do to prepare for my scan? Register or sign in and use our Noetic™ and Noetic Live™ services and get answers from cancer experts! 

 

Biomarkers: The Emerging Future of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

 

Blood sample for tumor marker test

 

According to the National Cancer Institute, a biomarker is a biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. Examples of these biological molecules include proteins, antibodies, gene expressions and mutations, and chemical signatures, among others. Biomarkers that are genetic mutations may be inherited or solely expressed in tumor tissue. Tumor markers are biomarkers that originate from the tumor itself or as a result of the tumor’s presence.

 

Examples of Biomarkers

Biomarker

Type To Help Determine Cancer Type Found In

Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA)

Protein Diagnosis Prostate

Blood

BRCA1/BRCA2

Gene mutations Risk/Treatment Breast/Ovarian

Blood

CD20

Protein Treatment Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Blood

EGFR Gene mutation Treatment Non-small cell lung cancer

Tumor tissue

Thyroglobulin

Protein Prognosis Thyroid

Blood

 

Biomarkers are an important area of cancer research. Identifying the proper biomarkers for each type of cancer can help in assessing risk for specific cancers, diagnosing specific cancers, guiding treatment choice, and tracking a patient’s prognosis. Biomarkers work together with other diagnostic techniques to build a complete picture of a patient’s individual diagnosis, opening the possibility for more individualized treatment.

 

Want to learn more about biomarkers? Register or sign in and use our Noetic™ and Noetic Live™ services and get answers from cancer experts!

 

The Role of Pharmacy in Your Care

 

 

Pharmacists often top the list of the most trusted healthcare professionals. They play a crucial role in monitoring a patient’s medication use and providing medication education to patients. As a crucial part of your healthcare team, here are ways you can empower your pharmacy to help you manage your health and well-being.

 

Fill all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy

This allows the pharmacy to keep track of your entire regimen and enables the pharmacist to catch any prescribing errors, drug interactions, and duplications of therapy. Should you be hospitalized, this also enables hospital staff to quickly and accurately research your medication list. If you do fill at separate pharmacies or receive mail order prescriptions in addition to using a retail pharmacy, be sure to keep all the pharmacies you use updated on all the medication you use and any changes that occur.

 

Treat herbals and supplements like prescriptions

Just because a product is over-the-counter doesn’t mean it is not without its risks. Herbals and supplements have side effects and interactions just as prescription medications do, so make your pharmacy aware of what you are taking so it can be added to your profile. Over-the-counter herbals and supplements, unlike prescription medications, are not regulated by the FDA and their labeling can only make broad, generalized claims as to what they help treat. Many of these claims have not been tested and proven by clinical trials. Be sure to speak to your doctor before starting an herbal or supplement.

 

Discuss adherence issues with your pharmacist and healthcare team

If you are finding a medication is difficult to take, have a discussion with your pharmacist or doctor right away. Both can work together to come up with an alternative medication or other solutions to the issue. Examples of barriers to adherence include harsh side effects, difficulty remembering when to take the medication, trouble administering the medication, and high out-of-pocket cost to the patient.

 

Keep everyone informed

You may not be filling your chemotherapy at your local pharmacy, but it is still a good precaution to have your pharmacy profile list your treatment. Also, have your oncologist’s and hospital’s contact information stored in your pharmacy profile, so your pharmacy can easily solve any medication issues that can arise. Likewise, make sure any doctors or departments who contribute to your care know which pharmacy or pharmacies you are currently using to fill your prescriptions.

 

Do you want to know which herbals or supplements may help you? Is there any evidence to back up their claims? Register or sign in and use our Noetic™ and Noetic Live™ services to get answers from cancer experts! 

 

Understanding the Comprehensive Care Team

 

Portrait Of Medical Team At Nurses Station

 

Today, treating cancer is a multi-disciplinary team effort. The members of your care team can vary depending on where you are receiving treatment and your own treatment needs. Common care team members include the following:

Medical, Surgical, and Radiation Oncologist: Oncologists can gain board certification in these specialties. Medical oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating cancers with conventional therapies like chemotherapy and other medications. Surgical oncologists specialize in performing surgical treatments and radiation oncologists specialize in prescribing and monitoring radiation-based treatments.

Radiologist: Radiologists are doctors who read and interpret various diagnostic scans like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. They use their expertise to diagnose patients and help monitor how they respond to treatment.

Pathologist: A pathologist is a doctor who works to diagnose and classify your cancer by looking at blood and tissue cells under a microscope. They help narrow your diagnosis to the specific grade and stage, which guides treatment recommendations.

Registered Nurses: Nurses provide direct care and education to patients. They also perform daily assessments and administer treatments. Their close proximity to patients on a regular basis often leads to them becoming a member of a patient’s support system. Nurses who have a Master’s degree and advanced training in oncology clinical practice are called oncology clinical nurse specialists.

Genetic Counselor: A genetic counselor educates patients and their families about genetic risk factors for specific types of cancers, helps determine when genetic testing is appropriate, interprets genetic test results, and makes treatment recommendations based on those results. A genetic counselor is trained to clearly explain what your results mean and discuss your potential treatment options.

Pharmacist: Pharmacists are drug experts who check your prescriptions, dispense your orders, and monitor your medication use. Pharmacists check for any medication issues, including drug interactions with other medications and foods, duplications of therapy, appropriate dosing, and proper indication for use.

Palliative Care Team: This team within your cancer care team helps carefully manage your pain associated with cancer. Members of this team can include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and psychologists, among others.

Dietician/Nutritionist: Patients receiving cancer treatments often battle nausea. The location of certain cancers can also affect a patient’s dietary needs, such as Head & Neck and Pancreatic cancer. A dietician or nutritionist monitors daily food and hydration needs as well as makes recommendations based on weight changes and the patient’s ability to chew and swallow.

Clergy: Patients or loved ones with spiritual needs can speak regularly with a chaplain, who is associated with the hospital or treatment center. Chaplains can visit patients of different religions but many treatment facilities can accommodate requests for visits from specific religious clergy. Chaplains can visit patients and loved ones for one-on-one sessions or run small group sessions.

Oncology Social Worker: Social workers are trained to help patients and their loved ones cope with a variety of issues that accompany cancer diagnosis and treatment. They evaluate the emotional needs of the patient and work to reduce stress for the patient and family members through counseling and helping with practical needs. They can coordinate assistance for patients and their families, including for housing, childcare, homecare, transportation, and finances. Their input with the comprehensive care team is invaluable to improving and maintaining a patient’s quality of life.

Patient Navigator: A patient navigator is a relatively recent addition to the cancer care team who helps patients through the complex systems that accompany cancer care. Patient navigators help resolve health insurance and financial issues, coordinate elements of the cancer care team, arrange for appointments, and find resources and services for patients’ specific needs that are not readily available. They also serve as a source of moral support for patients and their families by addressing fears and concerns as they arise.

Occupational Therapist: An occupational therapist helps patients rehabilitate physical functions that may have been compromised as a result of their cancer or treatment. The goal is to enable patients to maintain a certain level of quality of life and independence in daily activities.

Speech Therapist: Speech therapists are certified professionals who can help patients experiencing speech, language, oral hygiene, or swallowing issues. They teach patients alternative ways to communicate and make treatment and dietary recommendations to aid in rehabilitation. This member of the care team is also called a Speech Language Pathologist.

Home Health Aide: A home health aide provides care to a patient in their own home. They help with the daily needs of the patient such as cooking, chores, and dressing the patient. In certain states, home aides can help with medical needs such as medication administration and checking vital signs under the supervision of a nurse.

 

Which professionals should I have on my care team? Register or sign in today and use our Noetic™ and Noetic Live™ services to get answers from cancer experts! 

 

Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know

 

Woman Undergoing Chemotherapy With Nurse

 

The thought of participating in a clinical trial can cross a cancer patient’s mind from time to time. Some patients shy away from trials because they feel like “guinea pigs,” while for others, clinical trials offer a last chance at battling their disease. No matter your circumstance, it is important to know what clinical trials are and how to decide when to join one.

Clinical trials are a vital step in approving new, effective cancer treatments for the general public. In a typical clinical trial, a portion of the patients are randomly assigned to receive the standard treatment or placebo, while others receive a new, unproven treatment. The outcomes of each group are then compared. Clinical trials are heavily regulated and doctors and nurses closely monitor the health of the participants. Patients can leave a trial at any time or if complications occur. Also, clinical trials often cover the cost of all medical care, which lowers the financial burden on the patient.

When discussing treatment options with your doctor, patients can ask if there are any relevant clinical trials they know of and if participating in a clinical trial would be appropriate. Patients with aggressive cancers and those who are not responding to standard treatments may benefit from participating in well-designed clinical trials. However, recently diagnosed cancer patients – especially if facing a rare or complicated cancer – may want to consider clinical trials as well. Newly-diagnosed patients are in-demand for trials that test medications designed to work in the early stages of the disease.

When deciding to join a clinical trial, here are some important questions to ask:

  • What are the risks and benefits of joining this trial versus using standard treatment?
  • What costs do the trial program and my insurance cover?
  • How will participation affect my quality of life and survival versus not joining the trial?
  • How will participation affect my daily life?
  • Who will be in charge of my care? Where do I receive treatment and is transportation provided? How long will the trial last?
  • What happens if I drop out? What happens if I receive no benefit from my treatment? What happens if my treatment shows promise?

You can search for clinical trials currently recruiting patients and results from completed studies at https://clinicaltrials.gov/.

The American Cancer Society offers a Clinical Trials Matching Service here: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/clinicaltrials/clinical-trials-matching-service-find-trial

 

Thinking about joining a clinical trial? Need some assistance narrowing down what trial is right for you? Register or sign in today and use our Noetic™ and Noetic Live™ services to get answers from cancer experts! 

 

Noetic™ FAQ

 

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Have questions about our Noetic™ messaging service? Check out this FAQ!

 

What does ‘Noetic’ mean?

Noetic is an adjective of Greek origin meaning of or relating to mental activity or the intellect. We aim to educate the public, so we feel this is a fitting name!

 

Why do you only offer cancer education and not second opinions?

Noetic™ is designed to facilitate a quick, concise conversation with a cancer expert. You will not be able to share medical documents over Noetic™, which would be required for a second opinion. One of Cancer Expert Now’s goals is to fill an educational role, because many oncologists are overwhelmed and often do not have the time to provide all the education their patients need. Also, researching for your answers is time-consuming and it can be difficult to figure out if information you come across is accurate, up-to-date, or even applies at all to your specific case. We hope to fill this role and supplement your in-person doctor visits with our education sessions.

 

If you are looking for a written second opinion, please contact us at support@cancerexpertnow.com for our rates.

 

How do I submit a question?

After registering a Cancer Expert Now account, be sure you have a subscription that allows you to use Noetic™. Go to the subscription page after you register to choose an Enhanced or Premium subscription. You can also pay per question when you submit through Noetic™ while using a Basic account.

 

Click on the Noetic™ icon on your dashboard to be taken automatically to the New Conversations page. Be sure to fill out the patient’s gender, age, diagnosis, and case history completely before you submit your question.

 

Why does a customer service representative ask me follow-up questions to my submission?

If a customer service representative requires no further information from you, your response will be released to our experts immediately.

If a customer service representative needs more information about your case, you will be asked follow-up questions to complete your intake. This allows our system to match your case to the best expert available and allows our experts to answer your question adequately. A customer service representative may also edit your Noetic™ submission. You will have to approve any changes to your submission before it is released to our experts. Be on the lookout for email notifications for any next steps that require your attention.

 

What do I do if an expert asks for more information?

An expert may have additional questions or may request specific test results from you before they can provide an answer to your question. Please provide this information to the best of your ability or let the expert know if you have difficulty obtaining this information.

 

How long does it take to receive a response back from the experts?

We encourage our experts to respond to Noetic™ submissions within 48 hours.

 

When should I close a conversation? Does an open conversation ever close on its own?

Closing a conversation is appropriate:

  • When you feel your question has been answered
  • When you have asked a question in error

Please note that conversations will automatically close after an extended period of no activity.

Keep in mind that you can have multiple open questions at the same time, so there’s no need to close a conversation before asking a new question!

 

What criteria am I using to rate these conversations?

Rate your conversations based on how helpful you feel the expert response was.

 

Are my ratings anonymous?

YES! We appreciate your honest feedback to help improve our service.

 

Have a question about Noetic™ that wasn’t answered here? Ask us by email at support@cancerexpertnow.com.