Questions To Ask Your Doctor

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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?

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