The diagnosis of cancer literally knocks an individual off their feet. It is probably the first time in their lives they realized they were mortal – that they might possibly die, and from what we have been brought up to believe, in the not too distant future. They are totally out of control and unable to think logically.
Knowledge is a cancer patient’s best friend. Regardless of whether it is good news or bad news, every facet and detail is vital so the patient can make an informed decision. And that is the most important single variable factor – that of making an informed decision. There are treatments for every kind of cancer. Some people are cured from every kind of cancer. But it is vital to try to do everything right in order to have the best chance to succeed.
This list of questions is meant for the new cancer patient to ask their physician on their first or earliest visit to help them assemble all the facts from which to make an informed decision. You are urged to carefully write each answer fully so that you are certain you understand it. Don’t accept any fast answers. This is your life that you are betting on these answers.
- What kind of cancer do I have?
- What are all the possible treatments for it?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
- What are the expected (not possible) side effects of each treatment?
- What do you recommend?
- When will you know if it is working and how?
- What is there if this doesn’t work?
- What if I have a question or problem?
- Exactly what is my next step?
- When am I going to see you again?
- Are there any supplementary treatments, vitamins or nutritional aids that would help my treatments?
- Why should I not get an independent second opinion?
If you feel these questions are too complex or detailed, remember, you are betting your life. This is the most important thing you have ever done or will ever have to do in your entire life. Find every detail and option. Knowledge is your best friend. Fight for your life!