So when you go to the Doctor, what do you need to know? What don’t you want to know?
People are different, while some may prefer to have a lot of information about cancer treatment, the diagnosis and other processes, some may not want to get all that information. Either way, if your doctor is giving you too much or too little information, you have to let them know about it. Feel free to ask your doctor questions and let them know what you need. So what are some of the questions that you may want to ask your doctor?
These are examples of questions you may ask:
• Which cancer do I have? Where is it?
• Do I need any other tests prior to starting treatment?
• How regularly do you treat this type of cancer?
• What treatment do you recommend and why?
• What are the probable risks or side effects of treatment?
• What are the pros and cons of the treatment you indorse?
• Are there other treatments I should contemplate?
• How often will I need to come in for treatment or tests?
• How long will treatment last?
• What if I miss a treatment?
You must be certain that all of your concerns and questions, no matter how small, have been addressed. Usually, it may take more than one visit to discuss all of your concerns because new questions may come up. So it is important to have a notebook, where you can record your discussions with the doctor; if it’s difficult to remember everything your doctor talks about. Some people find it beneficial to not only take notes, but to also bring a family member or friend, record the conversations, and/or bring a list of questions and write down the doctor’s answers.
Essentially, the doctor ought to give details of your diagnosis, your health state, your treatment alternatives or options and your progress all the way through the treatment. It is important to know that your relationship with your doctor is a vital part of your care. Like any effective communication, yours with the doctor has to be two-way. You need to ask questions or communicate on any issues or concerns on your end. Note also that, you can, at any time seek a second opinion on your treatment and/or diagnosis.