While making the DVD Cancer-What Now? and giving many talks about dealing with cancer it is remarkable how many people don’t get the information they need from their doctor simply because they haven’t asked the right questions.
There’s no doubt many people feel intimidated, others like me arrive at the doctors rooms with a head full of questions then proceed to forget half of them.
It’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions but if you need a kick start try these.
Questions to ask your doctor.
- What stage is my cancer in, and what does that mean for my prognosis?
- Is there any indication that the cancer has spread.
- Can my condition go untreated without adverse health consequences.
- What are the possible treatments for my cancer? (list)
- What are the advantages/disadvantages of the treatments? (list)
- What are the likely side effects of each treatment?
- How long will the treatment take?
- Can I continue my normal activities during treatment?
- How do I decide which is the best treatment option for me personally?
- What do you recommend?
- When will you know the treatment is working and how?
- What next if this doesn’t work?
- What if I have a question or a problem?
- When I am I going to see you again?
- Are there any supplementary treatments, vitamins or nutritional aids that would help my treatments?
Write down the answers fully so you can refer to them and understand them later. If you don’t fully comprehend what the doctor is saying say so and get him or her to fully explain.
Remember, this is your life you are relying on these answers.
Of course you will have your own specific questions but these are a good starting point. If you find it difficult to ask your doctor questions face to face there’s nothing wrong with presenting him/her with a list. I’m sure they’ll understand.
Knowledge is power and the more information you can get from your doctor the better equipped you’ll be to beat your cancer.