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Questions to Ask Your Doctor

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Building a good rapport with your cancer care team is a very important part of your treatment regimen. It is essential that you be able to communicate effectively with your doctor and other health care providers about your symptoms. It’s equally important that you voice concerns and questions about your condition and treatment.

Doctors vary widely in what information they share with cancer patients. Some doctors may not share as much as you would like, while others might tell you more than you are ready to hear. If your doctors are not giving you enough information, or if your doctors are telling you too much, you need to let them know. Click here to see a nationwide directory of mesothelioma physicians.

Most doctors who deal with cancer patients understand that each patient deals with the anxiety and distress of a cancer diagnosis in their own way and may need a different approach to feel comfortable with their treatment plan.

It is important for your peace of mind to ask your doctor any questions you may have about your illness. Many doctors encourage patients to come to their appointments with a list of questions.

You may also find it helpful to take notes during your consultations or to bring a friend or family member to do it for you. It is often hard for patients to remember everything their doctors tell them during office visits, especially if they are not feeling well. A second person will be able to listen and write down what the doctor says in a more objective way. This will give you information to refer to later, and will save you from asking your doctor the same questions at your next visit.

The following are examples of questions to help you think about what you want to ask your doctor about your mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment:

  • What type of mesothelioma do I have?
  • What stage is my mesothelioma?
  • What course do you expect my┬ácancer to take?
  • How do you recommend managing my disease and why?
  • What will my treatment plan accomplish?
  • What are the potential side effects of my treatment plan?
  • Are there any other risks involved in my treatment plan?
  • What are the potential benefits to this treatment plan?
  • Are there other ways to treat this disease?
  • Are there any clinical trials for mesothelioma I can participate in?
  • What kind of schedule will I have for appointments and tests?
  • How long will I receive treatment?
  • What if I miss an appointment, test, or treatment?
  • What lifestyle changes will I need to make?
  • Can I continue to work during my treatment?
  • Can I continue to exercise during my treatment plan?
  • What drugs do you recommend for me? What does each one do?
  • Are there other drugs or treatments I may have to consider in the future?
  • What indication will I have that my treatment is effective?
  • What types of testing will I need and how often?
  • If there is a health care team involved in my care, who will manage my treatment plan and communicate with me?
  • Are there particular symptoms I need to tell you about right away?
  • Will my treatment, tests, or drugs make me feel nauseous?
  • What are the chances that my cancer will continue to spread with this treatment plan?
  • Is there anything I need to do to get ready for my treatment plan?
  • Will this treatment plan affect my fertility?
  • Are there any foods I should avoid? Are there any foods I should try to eat more of?
  • Can I drink beer or wine while on my treatment plan? How much? Is liquor advisable?
  • What costs will fall to me and what costs will be paid by my insurance?
  • How can reach you if I have an urgent question after office hours?
  • Is there anything else I should know about my treatment plan?
  • Are there any types of appointments where I cannot bring a friend, family member or spouse?
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