Receiving a cancer diagnosis can make you feel a great
amount of anger, frustration, and confusion. So many thoughts are running
through your mind, it is easy to forget important questions and concerns that
are vital to make important decisions about your care.
What to Bring with You to the Doctor's Appointment
Before your appointment, write down any questions or concerns you have in a
notebook. Bring this notebook with you to your appointment so you don't forget
any of your questions. You can record your doctor's answers in the notebook so
you can review them later. Some even prefer to bring a small tape recorder so
they can devote their full attention to what their doctor is discussing.
Bringing a trusted support person with you is also perfectly acceptable and
often encouraged. This person can take notes and even contribute to the
discussion by asking questions that perhaps you didn't think about.
11 Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Get a Cancer Diagnosis
Here are some questions that are often forgotten, but are important to ask:
What is the extent or stage of the cancer I have?
What is my prognosis?
What are my treatment options? What treatment(s) do you suggest?
Why do you favor this treatment over others?
When will my treatment start, and how long will it last?
Can I continue working? How will treatment affect daily living?
Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me?
What will happen if I choose not to have treatment?
How long will I have to continue regular check-ups after treatment?
What are the associated financial costs, and will my insurance cover the
Would you object to me getting a second opinion?
It is important to have a physician who will take the time to address your
concerns. Cancer is never easy, and having a physician with a good bedside
manner makes the journey much easier.