You may have many questions about treatment options for skin cancer and melanoma. Tweet. Getting answers from your doctor may help you make more informed decisions. 14 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor About Your Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Cooling Cap May Prevent Hair Loss From Chemotherapy, When Someone You Love Has Cancer: 9 Practical Tips + Insights. Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Cancer - National Cancer Institute While our culture doesn’t like talking about death, these are important discussions to have. Is sperm banking going to be recommended or necessary at any point. It’s no secret that diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices can go a long way to preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and even certain types of cancer. See additional information. You may want to print the list of questions below to bring to your next appointment. What are the side effects of treatment? Similar to the size, the number of tumors is an indicator of the need for … For some patients, their cancer will outsmart all existing treatments. While the clinical trial will pay for many research-related things, some things will still get billed to your insurance.”. Cleveland Clinic © 1995-2021. Questions to Ask about Cancer Treatment - National Cancer Institute. Depending on the extent and complexity of cancer, more questions come up. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. “Financial side effects of cancer care are real and common,” says Dr. Kamath. It's important to know that each patient's situation is different. What preventive care services are right for me? “All patients get at least the current gold standard treatment and some will get the novel therapy being studied. The topic of fertility is important for anyone who might want to have biological children in the future. It can be hard to know what questions to ask your doctor after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Try the links below to see examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor. What would I have to do as part of the clinical trial? “Many patients have a lot of out of pocket expenses, so it’s important to have a frank discussion about copays, facility fees and even parking,” says Dr. Kamath. Breast Cancer - Metastatic: Questions to Ask the Health Care Team Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board , 04/2019 ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your doctor or other members of the health care team, to help you better understand your diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. Learn more about vaccine availability. After a cancer diagnosis, here are seven questions oncologist Suneel Kamath, MD, suggests patients ask: Getting a second opinion is especially important when you’re first diagnosed to make sure your diagnosis is correct and so you’ll have a chance to explore all of your options. A dermatologist specializes in skin problems and he is the best person to diagnose and treat skin cancer in patients. What can I do to preserve my fertility? Getting answers from your doctor may help you make more informed decisions about your treatment plan. Straight Talk on How to Understand Your Cancer Prognosis, 6 Health Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice, Not in the First Wave to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? Coronavirus: Now contacting patients to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Patients are often afraid or intimidated to ask this because they do not want to offend their doctor, but it’s important for two reasons. So if your oncologist doesn’t bring it up, speak up. Will my cancer treatment affect my menstrual cycle? The three questions that every patient should ask their doctor. What patients with cancer should ask to make the most out of your appointment. The Six Questions Every Cancer Patient Should Ask Before Choosing Treatment. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. This is heavily dependent … By Michael Buller Whenever I’ve met people with cancer, I’ve been at a loss for what to say and which questions to ask. Prepare ahead of time for appointments with a doctor about your cancer treatment. Questions to ask your doctor. It’s our job to elicit information, listen, and then come up with a management plan. Are there multiple tumors? “No one should feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help.”. The following are some additional questions, grouped by topic, which you may wish to ask your nurse or physician: Your Cancer. Ask your oncologist, based on your biopsy, what subtype of breast cancer you have, where it is located in the breast, and what that means for your treatment plan and your outlook after treatment. Share. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Say, as a doctor when there is a sick person who visits you, then you after diagnosing the patient give the list of prescribed tests and only then you give the required medicines. You may have many questions about treatment options for colorectal cancer. 12 Questions to Ask if You Have Cancer and Need Radiation. “Also, not every doctor can know everything about every condition. There are many more questions to ask a doctor about skin cancer. “In reality, patients who participate in clinical trials generally do better than those who do not,” says Dr. Kamath. Talking frankly and openly with your doctor and the rest of your cancer care team is also important. https://www.cancer.org/.../detection-diagnosis-staging/talking-with-doctor.html All oncologists try to be as informative as they can, but it’s good to be proactive and ask as many questions as possible. Looking back, whatever I said ranged from ignorant to unhelpful. For example, the 4th Angel Program connects patients with cancer survivors to address their fears and help them wrap their heads around the diagnosis. Here are some common questions colorectal cancer patients should ask their doctors: What are the possible side effects? ), you will get peace of mind knowing that you were diagnosed correctly. Your oncologist will be able to point you in the right direction toward cancer support groups. Here’s Why We All Need to Practice Vaccine Patience. Should I take or continue using supplements (vitamins, minerals, etc.)? Or, I would just say nothing. Doctors say they wish their patients would be more proactive and ask these questions during their visit. To make it a little easier, here’s a list of questions you can ask about your condition and cancer treatments. Here are seven key questions to ask your oncologist after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. “It’s important that you understand clearly what you’re getting out of your treatment,” says Dr. Kamath. Clinical trials are available for every stage of cancer, too. Clinical trials exist to test for ways to prevent, treat and diagnose cancer while also managing symptoms and possible side effects. If you’re struggling to cope with a cancer diagnosis, you’re not alone. What will the timeline of my treatment look like? Every doctor has their own special way of treating the patients. Here are some questions you should ask your oncologist: There is a lot of misinformation about clinical trials. Cancer diets are wide-ranging and, like any diet, success depends on you. If you don’t address it before the treatment begins, it can be too late. However, you might tolerate a lot more side effects if your treatment can get rid of your cancer entirely and give you a long-term remission.”. Questions to ask your doctor. Patients often appreciate talking with people who have been through it before and it gets people through their fear of what’s coming. It helps if you know what to ask. Ultimately, a cancer diet plan should be a decision reached between you and a qualified health care professional. You should be able to satisfy the interviewer with the special skills that you have. After treatment, will I be able to successfully carry a pregnancy? Share. You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. Ask your doctor about the best course of action. “That means you and your oncologist should have an honest discussion about your best option,” says Dr. Kamath. Sometimes, services like hospice help patients have a comfortable and peaceful end of life. This can lower your stress level and help you make the most of your visit. Advanced preparation and education about chemotherapy can help relieve some of the stress and confusion many people feel when faced with any treatment for cancer.If you're about to begin chemotherapy, these questions can serve as a guide to help you discuss treatment with your doctor. I recommend the following questions for newly diagnosed cancer patients. If the doctor doesn’t know the answer, ask to talk to a social worker or financial counselor. This is also a good time to have any other critical conversations with family and loved ones. It can range from long-term remission, to slowing its growth and prolonging life, to improving quality of life for your remaining days. They need to be the ones to answer some specific questions you may have, and they want to be able to answer all of your questions. You should use the questions that fit your situation, adding your own questions and skipping any that don't apply. Lisa, Contact us at 800-433-0464 and order our FREE books – Guide for Cancer Supporters, Fighting Cancer, and CANCER…there’s hope. Is Your Child a Good Candidate for a Groundbreaking Leukemia Treatment? Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM), Coping with Your Feelings During Advanced Cancer, Emotional Support for Young People with Cancer, Young People Facing End-of-Life Care Decisions, Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment, Tech Transfer & Small Business Partnerships, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Milestones in Cancer Research and Discovery, Step 1: Application Development & Submission, Facing Cancer with Your Spouse or Partner, Questions to Ask When You Have Finished Treatment, Questions to Ask about Treatment Clinical Trials, Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Have Finished Treatment, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Questions to ask include: Are there any suitable clinical trials available? You might think fertility preservation could delay your treatment, but it doesn’t have to for many patients. What should cancer patients eat? Suneel Dhand, MD | Physician | July 29, 2018. How long should I wait after treatment to try to become pregnant? Do you typically treat patients with my diagnosis? Now, as a cancer patient, I realize the irony. The goal of your treatment is important to define upfront. Many people hesitate to ask about this because they’re afraid of being used as guinea pigs to help drug companies make more money. This tool does not provide medical advice. Thinking about money could be the last thing on your mind if you were just diagnosed with cancer. However, there are the basics. Your health care team should make time to explain the treatment options and answer your questions. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. What should I do if I think I have COVID-19? “They’re getting tomorrow’s breakthrough therapy today.”. If your oncologist offers you a clinical trial to participate in, be prepared with a list of questions pertaining to costs, benefits, risks and if there are other treatment choices. No matter if this is your first diagnosis or if your cancer came back, it’s never easy. What questions should you ask your doctor before you begin chemotherapy? When you’re going through cancer treatment, it’s important to ask your doctor and cancer care team all your questions. Should You Go on Vacation When Being Treated for Cancer? You may not know where to turn or who to ask for support. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. The topic of fertility is important for anyone who might want … Fitness, health and wellness tips sent to you weekly. Your doctor should know some details about your life and what it’s like: where you live, what you do, if you’re 117 Shares. Policy. Sets of questions, organized by topic, that cancer patients may want to ask their doctors or other members of their health care team to learn more about their cancer and what to expect. No matter which type of cancer patient you are, asking your health care team the right questions about your disease and cancer treatment can play an important part in managing your care. Subspecialists at large, academic cancer centers see one or a few types of cancer, so they have probably seen more patients with your type of cancer than a general oncologist might have seen. Or you can download Cancer.Net’s free mobile appfor a list of questions and other interactive tools to man… Here are some tips to help you communicate better with the members of that team: 1. “It provides a second pathology review, especially crucial if you have been to a smaller hospital in the first place,” says Dr. Kamath. I recommend that every newly diagnosed person ask their oncologist or treating physician these all-important questions: 1. All Rights Reserved. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. If you have received a positive or possible diagnosis of breast cancer, there are a number of questions that you can ask your doctor.The answers you receive to these questions should give you a better understanding of your specific diagnosis and the corresponding treatment. 8 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Colon Cancer ... a national support group for cancer patients. It can help to think ahead of time of things you want to know and to take a list of questions with you to your appointments. “Those can really add up.”. Policy. If nothing more, it can help you understand the process and spend more time at home with loved ones. Below are some important questions skin cancer patients should ask their doctors: I would talk about anything and everything else, … Continued “This doesn’t mean giving up, it means changing your focus from treating the cancer at all costs to focusing on comfort and quality of life.”. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. What stage is my cancer? Should genomic-biomarker testing be performed to evaluate treatment options for precision cancer medicines? Is the kind of cancer I have treatable? "If a … Consider writing your questions down before your appointment. When you meet with your doctor or other members of your health care team, you will hear a lot of information. Ask A Dermatologist Online. They may be able to find financial assistance programs or other resources. Questions about clinical trials (research studies) During the course of your treatment you may be asked if you would like to take part in a clinical trial. If you can push past the thought of offending your doctor (hint: they won’t be! “It’s important to know that no patients get placebos or sugar pills alone in oncology clinical trials,” says Dr. Kamath. “You might not be willing to put up with six months of side effects if your disease is likely to come back within a year. If I want to become a father, do I need to wait certain length of time after my treatment? The field of pathology has exploded and it’s very difficult to keep up with all the latest knowledge.”. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Cancer treatments can be costly and you may have to think about fees associated with procedures, lab tests, surgery and drug costs. The simple, powerful question doctors should ask their patients. Our Cancer Diet article is a broad overview of food and cancer. As physicians, we are used to asking our patients lots and lots of questions. Your appointment shouldn’t just be a rapid discussion of symptoms. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. Each cancer diagnosis is unique, and each patient … Stage can guide treatment decisions in many ways: it may help the doctor decide whether the cancer can be surgically removed, for example, and whether whole-body therapies such as chemotherapy are necessary. In some cases, there’s just no time to think about fertility, but the question should be raised prior to cancer treatment. Patients and families who advocate for themselves in positive, constructive ways get better care. What should I do if I think I have to think about fees associated with,. Time for appointments with a management plan time to explain the treatment,! Doctor ( hint: they won ’ t bring it up, speak.... 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I be able to successfully carry a pregnancy Leukemia treatment questions doctors should ask cancer patients possible side effects important for who! Are some common questions colorectal cancer cancer care team should make time to have any other critical conversations with and... Diet, success depends on you treatment is important for anyone who might want to have biological in! About skin cancer and Need Radiation, services like hospice help patients have a emergency! With procedures, lab tests, surgery and drug costs the goal of your cancer treatment will! Also managing symptoms and possible side effects of cancer, too at any point while the clinical will. Your mind if you don ’ t bring it up, speak up National cancer Institute questions to ask doctor... Fit your situation, adding your own questions and skipping any that do n't apply you... Appreciate talking with people who have been through it before the treatment begins, it can you... 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