You may find the following checklist helpful when thinking about the questions you may want to ask your doctor about illness and treatment.
- What type of cancer do I have?
- How extensive is my cancer?
- What treatment do you advise for my cancer and why?
- Are there other treatment choices for me ? if not, why not ?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
- Will I have to stay in hospital, or will I be treated as an out patient?
- How long will the treatment take? How much will it affect what I can do?
- How much will it cost?
- Will I have a lot of pain with the operation? What will be done about this ?
- When will you be able to tell if I need further treatment? If so, what treatment?
- If I need further treatment, what will it be like and when will it begin?
- Will the treatment effect my sexual relationships?
- How long will I be off work?
- How frequent will my checkups be and what will be involve?
- Are there any problems I should watch out for?
- I would like to have a second opinion. Can you refer me to someone else?
- Is my cancer hereditary?
If there are answers you do not understand, do not hesitate to say, ‘can you explain that again’ or ‘I am not sure what you mean by….’
Source: Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria “Brain Cancer: A Guide for People with Cancer, Their Families and Friends”