Communicating With Your Doctors
- How much information do I want to be told about my diagnosis, or health status?
- How do I want my doctors to communicate with me about these issues (for example,
- don’t beat around the bush, or with tender loving care)?
- Under what conditions do I need to talk with my doctors (quiet, uninterrupted, with a tape recorder or a family member present to capture information)?
- How does my doctor like to make decisions, and how does he present information to me?
- What is most important to me today when I consider me treatment options (I want to live longer, I want to minimize side effects, I want to avoid pain), and how can I communicate this to my doctors?
- Is there anything I can do to make communication with my doctors easier?
- Which of the side effects requires immediate medical attention?
- How can I reach my medical team in an emergency ?
Making Treatment Decisions
- Why do you recommend this treatment or procedure? What do you expect this treatment to do for me?
- What are the possible risks of this treatment or procedure? How likely is it that I am at risk for certain side effects or negative reactions?
- How long will this treatment take? How often do I receive it, and how is it given?
- Are there more or less aggressive options open to me?
- What happens if I choose to receive no treatment?
- What are the symptoms that usually develop with my type of cancer diagnosis, and how are those treated? Is this treatment any different than that aimed at remission?
- How will each of these options affect my quality of life? Will I be able to do the things I enjoy? Can I work, take care of my kids, go on vacation?
- What lifestyle changes would you recommend I consider during my treatment?
How and when will the effectiveness of this treatment be evaluated?