When you’re trying to manage more than one disease or condition at a time, it’s important to deal with the most
urgent problem first. For example, a disease like cancer that’s life-threatening takes precedence over a disease like
MS that’s not. The physicians you have chosen to treat you need to talk to you — and to each other — about the
best way prioritize and manage your various treatment needs.
Make sure each of your doctors has a complete list of everything you
Particularly in today’s world of specialized medicine—where each doctor tends to focus on one particular area of
your care—it’s important to keep all your doctors informed about any treatments you are receiving. This information
helps to ensure that you aren’t given medications that interfere with one another or combine in any harmful way. It’s
also a good idea to use one pharmacy for as many of your medications as possible since the prescription software
used by most pharmacists will automatically identify possible drug interactions.
The same recommendation holds for all over-the-counter products and complementary or alternative medicine
(CAM) strategies you are using. Your doctors need complete information about everything you are taking in order to
make the best and safest possible treatment recommendations for you.
When coordinating your own care gets too complicated, ask for help
When managing your health care begins to feel like a full-time job, or you simply don’t have the energy or ability to
manage the numerous doctors, tests, appointments, prescriptions, and insurance plans, it may be time to look for
some assistance. Call the National MS Society (1-800-344-4867) for information about care management resources
in your area that might be able to assist you.
Anesthesia & Surgery
All forms of anesthesia are generally considered safe for people with MS. Be sure to discuss
anesthesia options with your neurologist and the anesthesiologist prior to any scheduled surgery.
The majority of people with MS are healthy adults whose risks during elective surgical procedures are
about the same as the general population.
MS & Cancer Telephone Self-Help Group
Get support for dealing with MS and cancer at the same time. Join the MS & Cancer Telephone Self-
4th Wednesday of every month, 3:00pm CT
1-888-346-3659 (enter code 1073 when prompted)
Group contact: Margaret Barney