I've been treated for cancer but still feel ill, which type of doctor should I see?

2 answers | Last updated: Jul 20, 2010
A fellow caregiver asked...

I had prostate cancer diagnosed via PSA and successfully treated via external beam radiation and seed implants. I still feel very ill and can't figure out who to see next to find out if I have some other cancer as well. Do I start with a General Practitioner, an oncologist, internist, or some other specialty?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

If you are feeling ill, I would start with a visit to your General Practitioner/ Internist. You need a full assessment and work up to find out what is making you feel so bad. You probably need labwork and other tests to see if anything abnormal is going on. Once any abnormalities have been found, then your GP can refer you to a specialist if needed.

One thought I had when reading your letter is you should be screened for depression. It is not uncommon for people who undergo treatment for cancer to get depressed and then feel actual physical pain from their depression. I wish you good luck!

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

My 85 year old father just went through successful seed implant radiation for prostate cancer. We were lucky enough to have a doctor who recommended that he have naturopathic and nutritional support while he went through the radiation.

Dad received weekly IV's of high dose vitamin C and was on a supplement regimen of many anti-oxidants and vitamins. Two items that helped him a LOT with radiation fatigue were Taurox pellets (homeopathy) and a product called Calm Recharge. He said frequently that he felt noticeably better after taking each of these.

He also juiced fresh organic vegetables daily and drank 1 cup a day.

He came through the radiation beautifully -- unlike other patients in the same waiting room who were choosing to get only the radiation without additional nutritional support.

I would recommend that you find a naturopathic doctor in your area and ask him/her for guidance in boosting your system back up. Radiation is VERY draining for the whole body. Best of luck to you!