The moment you’re diagnosed with cancer can be intimidating and brings along fear and ambiguity. But while it’s okay to feel overwhelmed, it also demands complete attentiveness. Paying attention to what your doctor says and putting forth the queries can help resolve many problems related to your further treatment.
Asking the right questions can help you learn more about your diagnosis and treatment plan that allows you to take an active role in assessing your cancer care. Studies have shown that people who are well informed about their disease and treatment options usually have better outcomes and face fewer side effects.
Here are few questions you must ask from your Oncologist to avail better treatment plan:
Questions regarding Cancer diagnosis:
- What is the type of cancer I have? Can you please explain my diagnosis?
- Which organ of mine is affected by Cancer? How much has it spread?
- What is my prognosis?
Questions regarding the stage of cancer:
- What is the stage of cancer?
- What effect will this particular stage have on my cancer treatment?
Questions regarding Cancer treatment:
- What are the treatment options I have?
- Which treatment do you recommend?
- What are the possible side effects of this type of treatment?
- How often will I have to visit the hospital to get the treatment administered?
Questions regarding side effects of the treatment:
- What are the possible side effects and risks? Is there a way to manage them?
- Whom can I call to get immediate support in case of an emergency?
- Will the treatment affect my daily life? Will I be still able to work? Can I exercise after the treatment is commenced?
Questions regarding financial assistance:
- I'm worried that my treatment can get hindered due to some financial issues. Is there someone who can help me?
- Can you help me with my health insurance concerns?
You may also ask:
- Can you please elaborate on my pathology report?
- What terms should I use when looking up information about my condition?
- What resources should I refer to for learning more about my condition?
- Will this disease pose threat to other members of my family?
Improve communication with your doctor:
Most doctors would love to answer your questions regarding your diagnosis, treatment, etc. Some steps that you can follow to improve the communication are:
- Jot down the questions you want to ask. Prioritize the list and ask important questions first
- Avoid going alone to your appointment. Taking someone along with you who can help ask questions or write down information
- Don’t hesitate to ask again if you fail to understand something. Medical jargon and methods can be difficult
Your doctor understands your state of mind and will never want you to restrain from asking any question that may help you adhere to the treatment better. If your doctor avoids taking questions from you or you feel that you lack the connection with him/her, taking a second opinion can help.