Keeping Track of Your Medical History
By: Brandy (Korman) Haslam
Should you keep track of your medical records?
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, chances are you’ve probably seen members of your medical team writing a lot of notes in your chart. These notes are a very important part of your medical history and help each doctor keep track of your particular case in detail.
With the numerous appointments you will need throughout your cancer treatment, it is important for you as the patient to keep track of your medical history as well. Writing your own notes, bringing along a friend or family member, or even taking a tape recorder to each appointment will help you remember what was said by each doctor. It will also help you play a more active and informed role in your cancer care.
As you progress through cancer treatment, be sure to ask your physicians for copies of your records, lab reports and other test results. Having copies of your medical history will make it easy for you when you are visiting new physicians.
If you decide to have breast reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy or even at a later date, these records will also be needed by your plastic surgeon.
Always ask your physicians any questions you have in regards to your medical records and be sure to keep confidential medical history in a safe place.