Metastatic Cancer: Ask Your Oncologist
Becoming a proactive partner in your health care means gathering as much information as you can about your metastatic cancer and treatment plan. And you have one key resource right at your fingertips: your oncologist. Take advantage by asking these questions at your next exam. If it helps, ask a loved one to accompany you and jot down the answers for you.
- What treatment choices do I have? Which treatment do you recommend, and why?
- Why are we doing this treatment—to cure the cancer, to help me live longer, or to relieve or prevent symptoms of the cancer?
- What are the chances that the treatment will help?
- What side effects are likely to result from the treatment(s) that you recommend? And what can I do to help reduce these side effects?
- How would treatment affect my daily activities?
- Would a second opinion be helpful to me? If so, where can I get a second opinion before I start treatment?
- Are there any clinical trials? If so, how can I learn more?
- What should I do to maintain my health and well-being?
- Will there be any pain? If so, how can I best manage it?
- What symptoms should I watch out for? If I develop any of those symptoms, whom should I call?
- Will my health insurance cover it?
- Can you recommend a metastatic cancer support group?
- Are there any support groups for my family?