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Questions to Ask When Planning Cancer Treatment

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

Questions to Ask Planning Cancer TreatmentWhat questions should I ask at my cancer treatment planning visit?

It’s scary to receive a gynecologic cancer diagnosis. The news leaves you with varying emotions. On one hand, you are numb with shock, while on the other, you are feeling fear, anger, confusion, and pain. In all the chaos, you may find yourself so overloaded you have a hard time taking in the information you need to make decisions about your care.

Thankfully, you are not alone. Many HysterSisters have been where you are now. They know what you are going through. Below are some of their helpful suggestions to help you prepare for your upcoming treatment and get the most out of your appointment.

HysterSister Helpful Hints

Take someone with you to your appointment. Choose someone who will be able to help you listen, ask questions, and take notes. Also, prepare your list of questions ahead of time. Then, make two extra copies. Keep one for yourself, give one to the friend or family member who’s going with you, and hand one to your doctor during your appointment. You should also consider a second opinion to help you decide which treatment plan is best for you.

As you create your list of questions, here are a few your HysterSisters suggest that you include and adapt for your situation:
  1. What are my treatment options?
  2. Are there alternative treatments I can consider?
  3. What about complimentary treatments?
  4. What treatment do you suggest and why?
  5. What can I expect from treatment – a cure, remission, symptom control?
  6. What are the pros and cons of treatment?
  7. What are my risks if I choose not to have treatment?
  8. How often will I need to get treatments?
  9. How long will each individual treatment last?
  10. How long will I be undergoing treatment?
  11. Where will I have treatment?
  12. What if I miss a treatment?
  13. How soon do I need to begin treatment?
  14. What temporary side effects can I expect during treatment?
  15. What permanent side effects might I experience?
  16. How do I manage the side effects of treatment?
  17. Will you prescribe any medications to help with side effects?
  18. Can I do anything before treatment to help minimize side effects?
  19. How can I stay healthy during treatment?
  20. What should I eat and drink during treatment?
  21. How do I prepare for treatments?
  22. Will I be able to work during treatment?
  23. Will I be able to participate in my regular activities?
  24. Are there support groups that are beneficial during treatment?
  25. Who do I call if I have questions or concerns about my treatment?
  26. Who do I call if I have questions or concerns about my symptoms during treatment?
  27. What signs indicate I should go to the ER during treatment?
  28. Are there financial programs that will help with treatment expenses not covered by insurance?
  29. Are there clinical trials I should consider?

Your medical team can help you evaluate information for accuracy and reliability. You can discuss the information you have read, heard, or seen. Remember, not everything on TV and the internet is true, nor is everything in print. Your team can also provide you with pamphlets, websites, and other information that you can take home to review and share with your family and friends who will be supporting you during treatment.

It’s important to be comfortable with your medical team and treatment plan, so be sure to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. It’s okay to ask your doctor to use simpler language, draw diagrams, and give you definitions. You’ll be able to take a more active role in your care if you understand and agree with the treatment plan.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

06-22-2016 - 11:46 PM


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