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questions doctors should ask cancer patients

Getting answers from your doctor may help you make more informed decisions. While our culture doesn’t like talking about death, these are important discussions to have. “It’s important that you understand clearly what you’re getting out of your treatment,” says Dr. Kamath. “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.”. “Those can really add up.”. Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Cancer - National Cancer Institute To make it a little easier, here’s a list of questions you can ask about your condition and cancer treatments. Your doctor should know some details about your life and what it’s like: where you live, what you do, if you’re Should genomic-biomarker testing be performed to evaluate treatment options for precision cancer medicines? What are the possible side effects? Here are seven key questions to ask your oncologist after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Ask A Dermatologist Online. Should I take or continue using supplements (vitamins, minerals, etc.)? If nothing more, it can help you understand the process and spend more time at home with loved ones. Depending on the extent and complexity of cancer, more questions come up. “No one should feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help.”. Fitness, health and wellness tips sent to you weekly. Is Your Child a Good Candidate for a Groundbreaking Leukemia Treatment? “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. Your oncologist will be able to point you in the right direction toward cancer support groups. What can I do to preserve my fertility? The following are some additional questions, grouped by topic, which you may wish to ask your nurse or physician: Your Cancer. This tool does not provide medical advice. “Also, not every doctor can know everything about every condition. Cleveland Clinic © 1995-2021. This is heavily dependent … What questions should you ask your doctor before you begin chemotherapy? Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Here are some common questions colorectal cancer patients should ask their doctors: 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. While the clinical trial will pay for many research-related things, some things will still get billed to your insurance.”. What should cancer patients eat? Questions to Ask about Cancer Treatment - National Cancer Institute. Below are some important questions skin cancer patients should ask their doctors: Should You Go on Vacation When Being Treated for Cancer? Questions to ask your doctor. Is sperm banking going to be recommended or necessary at any point. Is the kind of cancer I have treatable? The Six Questions Every Cancer Patient Should Ask Before Choosing Treatment. 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. 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. You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. What should I do if I think I have COVID-19? It can range from long-term remission, to slowing its growth and prolonging life, to improving quality of life for your remaining days. Sometimes, services like hospice help patients have a comfortable and peaceful end of life. You may have many questions about treatment options for skin cancer and melanoma. You might think fertility preservation could delay your treatment, but it doesn’t have to for many patients. 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.”. Are there multiple tumors? This can lower your stress level and help you make the most of your visit. Every doctor has their own special way of treating the patients. The topic of fertility is important for anyone who might want to have biological children in the future. Patients often appreciate talking with people who have been through it before and it gets people through their fear of what’s coming. Ask your doctor about the best course of action. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. 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. 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. 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? "If a … After treatment, will I be able to successfully carry a pregnancy? It helps if you know what to ask. It’s our job to elicit information, listen, and then come up with a management plan. Do you typically treat patients with my diagnosis? 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. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. You should be able to satisfy the interviewer with the special skills that you have. “Financial side effects of cancer care are real and common,” says Dr. Kamath. “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. Looking back, whatever I said ranged from ignorant to unhelpful. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. You may not know where to turn or who to ask for support. What are the side effects of treatment? Now, as a cancer patient, I realize the irony. What patients with cancer should ask to make the most out of your appointment. Or you can download Cancer.Net’s free mobile appfor a list of questions and other interactive tools to man… 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. 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. Patients and families who advocate for themselves in positive, constructive ways get better care. The simple, powerful question doctors should ask their patients. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. “It’s important to know that no patients get placebos or sugar pills alone in oncology clinical trials,” says Dr. Kamath. Here are some questions you should ask your oncologist: There is a lot of misinformation about clinical trials. Prepare ahead of time for appointments with a doctor about your cancer treatment. What would I have to do as part of the clinical trial? If the doctor doesn’t know the answer, ask to talk to a social worker or financial counselor. 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. 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. Or, I would just say nothing. As physicians, we are used to asking our patients lots and lots of questions. “It provides a second pathology review, especially crucial if you have been to a smaller hospital in the first place,” says Dr. Kamath. Your health care team should make time to explain the treatment options and answer your questions. Your appointment shouldn’t just be a rapid discussion of symptoms. Lisa, Contact us at 800-433-0464 and order our FREE books – Guide for Cancer Supporters, Fighting Cancer, and CANCER…there’s hope. Share. All Rights Reserved. So if your oncologist doesn’t bring it up, speak up. Each cancer diagnosis is unique, and each patient … You should use the questions that fit your situation, adding your own questions and skipping any that don't apply. 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. 117 Shares. Our Cancer Diet article is a broad overview of food and cancer. It can be hard to know what questions to ask your doctor after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. When you meet with your doctor or other members of your health care team, you will hear a lot of information. For example, the 4th Angel Program connects patients with cancer survivors to address their fears and help them wrap their heads around the diagnosis. What preventive care services are right for me? A dermatologist specializes in skin problems and he is the best person to diagnose and treat skin cancer in patients. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Getting answers from your doctor may help you make more informed decisions about your treatment plan. They may be able to find financial assistance programs or other resources. Clinical trials exist to test for ways to prevent, treat and diagnose cancer while also managing symptoms and possible side effects. Policy. See additional information. Here are some tips to help you communicate better with the members of that team: 1. Clinical trials are available for every stage of cancer, too. Cancer treatments can be costly and you may have to think about fees associated with procedures, lab tests, surgery and drug costs. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. 12 Questions to Ask if You Have Cancer and Need Radiation. 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. The field of pathology has exploded and it’s very difficult to keep up with all the latest knowledge.”. Policy. I recommend that every newly diagnosed person ask their oncologist or treating physician these all-important questions: 1. If you can push past the thought of offending your doctor (hint: they won’t be! 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. ), you will get peace of mind knowing that you were diagnosed correctly. Here’s Why We All Need to Practice Vaccine Patience. “That means you and your oncologist should have an honest discussion about your best option,” says Dr. Kamath. Questions to ask include: Are there any suitable clinical trials available? The three questions that every patient should ask their doctor. “In reality, patients who participate in clinical trials generally do better than those who do not,” says Dr. Kamath. 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. The topic of fertility is important for anyone who might want … Advertising on our site helps support our mission. I would talk about anything and everything else, … Continued 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. When you’re going through cancer treatment, it’s important to ask your doctor and cancer care team all your questions. 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. Talking frankly and openly with your doctor and the rest of your cancer care team is also important. Try the links below to see examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor. If you’re struggling to cope with a cancer diagnosis, you’re not alone. Will my cancer treatment affect my menstrual cycle? You may have many questions about treatment options for colorectal cancer. If I want to become a father, do I need to wait certain length of time after my treatment? 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. Similar to the size, the number of tumors is an indicator of the need for … If you don’t address it before the treatment begins, it can be too late. I recommend the following questions for newly diagnosed cancer patients. Thinking about money could be the last thing on your mind if you were just diagnosed with cancer. This is also a good time to have any other critical conversations with family and loved ones. Suneel Dhand, MD | Physician | July 29, 2018. Doctors say they wish their patients would be more proactive and ask these questions during their visit. 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. No matter if this is your first diagnosis or if your cancer came back, it’s never easy. All oncologists try to be as informative as they can, but it’s good to be proactive and ask as many questions as possible. It's important to know that each patient's situation is different. https://www.cancer.org/.../detection-diagnosis-staging/talking-with-doctor.html Coronavirus: Now contacting patients to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Ultimately, a cancer diet plan should be a decision reached between you and a qualified health care professional. For some patients, their cancer will outsmart all existing treatments. Learn more about vaccine availability. However, there are the basics. What stage is my cancer? 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. Many people hesitate to ask about this because they’re afraid of being used as guinea pigs to help drug companies make more money. Cancer diets are wide-ranging and, like any diet, success depends on you. Consider writing your questions down before your appointment. 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. What will the timeline of my treatment look like? 8 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Colon Cancer ... a national support group for cancer patients. How long should I wait after treatment to try to become pregnant? Tweet. You may want to print the list of questions below to bring to your next appointment. The goal of your treatment is important to define upfront. Share. Questions to ask your doctor. In some cases, there’s just no time to think about fertility, but the question should be raised prior to cancer treatment. “All patients get at least the current gold standard treatment and some will get the novel therapy being studied. There are many more questions to ask a doctor about skin cancer. “They’re getting tomorrow’s breakthrough therapy today.”. Can be too late diagnosis or if your oncologist will be able to satisfy the interviewer with the special that. Is the best person to diagnose and treat skin cancer and Need Radiation of pathology has exploded it... “ no one should feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. ” still get billed to your appointment. Before you begin chemotherapy the process and spend more time at home with loved.. During their visit ask a doctor about your treatment, ” says Dr. Kamath for... 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