FIND A HEMATOLOGIST
How to Find a Hematologist That Is Right for You
Finding the right doctor is never easy, especially for people who have been diagnosed with a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). Your general practitioner may have never seen a case of MF, ET or PV, and your local hematologist may have limited firsthand experience with MPNs.
However, as an MPN patient, it’s critical to find a healthcare practitioner who understands your disease. At some point, you will need to be seen by a physician who specializes in myeloproliferative blood disorders.
To locate a hematologist that specializes in MPNs:
- The American Society of Hematology offers a convenient and helpful way to search for treatment facilities by region and specialty.
- The MPN Forum indexes a list of patient-recommended hematologists who specialize in MPNs.
While it’s important to find a hematologist that understands the various approaches to managing an MPN, you should also relate to your physician on a personal level. If you feel like you need a second opinion, you should not hesitate to seek one.
Questions to Ask Your Hematologist
After you have identified a hematologist that may be right for you, the next step is to ask the right questions. A brief selection of questions you should ask your hematologist include:
- What is my exact diagnosis?
- Did I test positive for any mutations? What kind of genetic testing can you offer me?
- What is my plan for managing this in the short and long term?
- What kinds of clinical trials, if any, am I qualified for?
- How many MPN patients do you treat now?
- What kind of lifestyle changes should I make to deal with symptoms?
- What treatments am I a good candidate for, and why?
- What are the side effects of my treatment options?
- If you are of childbearing age, how should I manage my family planning? Should I be using birth control? Should I stop using birth control?
- What should I tell my immediate family about how this will affect my life and theirs?
Suggest any additional questions that you’ve found helpful to ask your hematologist here.