What You Need to Know
Hearing the words "It's cancer" can be overwhelming. Often, people are too stunned to be able to ask physicians for the information they need. When discussing your diagnosis and treatment options with your physician, it can be helpful to have questions prepared ahead of time, so that you don't forget anything important. Take a pen and paper to write down the answers, or a portable tape recorder so that you can play back the answers later. Studies have shown that people who are more informed about their cancer have a more positive attitude and respond better to treatment.
Questions to Ask Your Physician
- How advanced is my melanoma?
- What stage is it in?
- What are my chances of recovery?
- What treatments are available?
- Will I be given a choice of options?
- If I need surgery, will there be a scar?
- Which treatment do you think is best for me? Why?
- What are the side effects?
- Can they be treated, too?
- Will my health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid cover the cost?
- Will I be able to work and lead a normal life during treatment?
- What tests will be performed to show that the melanoma is cured?
- What are the chance of it coming back?
- Is there anything I can do to prevent a recurrence?