QUESTIONS YOU MAY WANT TO ASK (EXCERPT)
To make informed decisions about treatment for cancer, you may want to ask some questions of your healthcare team. Here are some general questions you might want to ask before selecting an oncologist to give you chemotherapy:
•How do you know for sure that I have cancer, and how did you determine which
stage it is in?
•Are you board certified in oncology?
•What is your specialty (or sub-specialty)?
•How many years have you been practicing?
•How many cases of my type of cancer have you treated in the past year?
•What hospital are you affiliated with, if I need to be admitted for treatment?
•May I tape-record our conversations, or bring another person such as a spouse, friend, or family member in to listen to our conversations?
•Will you explain my treatment to me in the level of detail that I wish?
•What should I do if I have questions during or after your office hours?
•How long does it usually take you to respond to calls or e-mails?
When your oncologist recommends chemotherapy treatment, here are some things you may want to be sure you understand. If you don’t understand your doctor's responses, ask more questions until you do.
•What are all the options for treatment available for treating this particular type of cancer, including investigational and conventional treatments?
•What are the cure rates for each treatment option?
•What are the short-term risks of each option?
•What are the long-term risks of each option?
•What side effects may be expected with each option?
•What is the risk of dying during treatment—for each option?
•How might each treatment affect my life, work, and special interests?
•How long will each course of treatment last?
•Where should I go to receive each treatment, and who will administer it?
•What are the costs to me of each course of treatment?
•Will any of these treatments limit future treatment strategies?
•What is the risk of a second cancer occurring?
•What are the risks of additional medical problems or complications from each course of treatment?
(c) Burning Books Press