Questions to ask your doctor before cancer treatment: Be prepared

When first given a diagnosis, and a prognosis, you are overwhelmed, shocked and confused. Its common to have a hard time thinking, let alone digesting everything the doctor has said. In spite of this there are many decisions to be made and there is pressure to make them quickly so the “fight” against disease can get started. We learned the hard way that one should be prepared with questions- we hope these can help. Dont be afraid to tape the answers so you can listen again- and/or take notes. Its also a good idea to have more than one set of ears hear the answers! As outlined in one of our videos above, we suggest the following five questions:

#1 – “So doctor, what are all my treatment options, what are the pros and cons of each, and what is my life expectancy with, and without treatment?”

#2 – “I’ve heard about ‘palliative care.’ What is it, and will you refer me to a palliative care physician or nurse?”

#3 – “If I choose treatment, what are the most common side effects, when will they appear, and what can I do for them?”

#4 – “How much is all this going to cost me?”

#5 – “Who will be my ‘quarterback,’ the one who will be managing all the care I am about to receive?

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