Useful Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Most people when told that they have a urological malignancy react with a feeling of shock at hearing the word ‘cancer’. It is important however to obtain as much additional information from your doctor in order to fully understand your condition and the treatment options available and this can be achieved on subsequent visits to your clinician. You may also find it valuable to involve your loved ones during this difficult time. The following questions are examples that may prove useful in developing a clearer picture of your situation and perhaps help you to deal with your diagnosis and prepare you for events to come.
Useful questions to ask your doctor may include:
- How do you know that I have cancer?
- What stage of cancer do I have?
- Are there further tests that I should have to determine the stage and nature of the cancer before I decide on a method of treatment?
- What will these tests tell us?
- What are the treatment alternatives for my stage of cancer?
- What treatment do you recommend for me and why?
- Are there other alternatives that haven’t been mentioned?
- What are the risks involved with the various treatments?
- What are the likely consequences of having no treatment?
- How suitable are the various treatment options for me?
- Will these treatments be done on a hospital in-patient or outpatient basis?
- How much do the tests and treatments cost?
- How will different treatments affect my quality of life?
- What impact will treatments have on my sexual activity?
- What effect will these treatments have on my continence?
- How will I feel during treatment?
- When will I be able to return to my normal activities?
- When will I be able to resume sexual activity?
- What are my options if I experience sexual problems? Can you refer me to an expert in this field?
- Will I need regular check ups to monitor my response to cancer treatment?
- What tests will be required for these check ups?
- What will the tests tell us?
- Are there any specific signs I should be aware of that may relate to an improvement or deterioration in my condition?
- In respect of my rights as a patient, where can I go for a second opinion?
- Are there any support groups in my area?
- Are there any other patients that I could talk to regarding the condition and treatments?