The worst news that you can get when you visit your doctor is the diagnosis of cancer. This is the most deadly diseases still on the planet, but if it is early detected in most cases it is a curable disease. Therefore, you need to be aware that if by any chance you receive this diagnosis you need to know to ask the right questions to your doctor.
These questions can help you with the implementation of the proper treatment and your quick recovery. This is the first thing about which you need to be very careful when this disease is being determined. You need to be well informed about the therapy you are receiving, about the ongoing studies and the results they offer. This is very important as you are talking about your life or in the case of a close person affected with cancer.
The cancer patient should know his treatment goals and write them, and be especially informed about the statistical data when chemotherapy is concerned.
So, this conversation is very important and here is the list of questions on which you need to be focused in the meeting with your doctor or if you are loved one is dealing with this health issue.
Ask your oncologist these questions:
Could I tape this conversation?
When this conversation occurs it is better to tape it so that you can listen to it again carefully and all doctor’s recommendations about the treatment. This can help you to focus on your issues, on carefully understanding what your physician has said since we are all over-excited when dealing with such issues which results in low concentration. Moreover, you do not have to take notes.
What are the risk factors that have contributed to my cancer?
Your oncologist can inform you about all potential risk factors that have contributed to the appearance of your disease. This is good to know so that you should in future completely eliminate them.
Why the necessity of chemo?
What is the purpose of chemotherapy?
Can we try immunotherapy instead of chemotherapy?
Do you consider immunotherapy as a better treatment choice?
If your oncologist is against immunotherapy, you should ask him why it is currently the most used treatment in the states.
Is my treatment curative or palliative?
Be aware that the palliative treatment is used in order to alleviate the pain, symptoms of the diseases, and the stress of a terminal disease either mental or physical.
Please, could you tell me the benefits, risks and possible complications of the applied chemo?
Could you inform me about the issues that cancer patients experience while chemo?
What should I do regarding my lifestyle and diet while I am on chemo? What will help me to better the results and protect my body during treatments?
Is chemo the only option or there are others as well?
Would you like to inform me how many patients have you treated with this type of cancer?
Like for instance:
Are these patients still alive?
If so, how many have survived more than 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years?
What type of treatments you have administrated in these cases?
Can I get in contact with some of the survivors in order to find out how my life would be during and after the treatment?
Was my case introduced to another doctor for a second opinion?
This is very important as in that case you will be sure that you have received the correct diagnosis. There have been cases of patients who have been treated for cancer, but they did not show any sign of cancer.
What would be my treatment programme?
You should try to find out the applied frequency of your treatment program and the results of its use.
How can I be sure if this is the right treatment programme for me?
– Ask for success evidence of your treatment program. This is valuable information as in that way you will know the number of patients who have survived the treatment.
Was the condition of any of your patients worsened as a result of this treatment, and if so, what was the reason?
Can you reveal the survival statistics of this treatment and where they are released? Is it possible for you to give me a copy of the published articles?
These statistics are commonly reported in the medical literature published with a reading committee. Therefore any prognosis given by your oncologist must be supported by released data or performed studies. This information should be shared with you as after all this is your life and you are fighting for it.
Do any of your patients experienced side effects from this treatment?
You need to be familiar with all the possible adverse effects of your treatment as there are cases where the patients have died as a result of the chemo and not as a result of the disease itself.
What you will recommend to alleviate the side effects of this treatment?
Are the used drugs for my treatment approved for this type of cancer?