Bladder Cancer: Treatment Questions
Talking with healthcare providers about cancer can be overwhelming. It can be hard to take in all of the information. It helps to be prepared. Make a list of questions and bring them to your appointments. Write the answers down in a notebook. Make sure you ask how the treatment will change your daily life, including your diet, and how you will look and feel after treatment. Ask how successful the treatment is expected to be, and what the risks and possible side effects are. You may also want to ask a friend or family member to go with you. He or she can take notes and write down the answers, and also ask questions you may not think of. You can also ask your healthcare provider if you can record the conversation.
Below are some questions to ask during your appointments.
Deciding on a treatment
What is the stage and grade of my cancer?
Has it spread anywhere else in my body?
What treatment do you think is best for me?
What are the goals of my treatment? Are we trying to cure the cancer, control it, slow it down, shrink it, or control symptoms it’s causing?
What is the success rate of this treatment for my type and stage of bladder cancer?
What is the life expectancy for someone with my stage of cancer receiving this treatment?
What is the length of the treatment period?
When will I know if my bladder can be saved?
Will I be able to go to work and be around my family?
Are there any clinical trials I should look into?
Getting ready for treatment
Should I change my diet? What foods can’t I eat?
How long will each treatment take?
Where do I have to go for the treatment?
Who is involved in giving me the treatment?
Does someone need to go with me to treatments?
Can I take my other medicines during the treatment period?
Coping during treatment
What side effects should I watch for?
How long will side effects last?
Are there side effects that I need to call you about?
How do I reach you after hours and on weekends?
What can I do to ease the side effects?
Are there support groups nearby that I can join?
How will I feel after treatment?
What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
How will we know if treatment worked?
What should I do to keep the cancer from coming back?
What changes should I watch for so that you can tell me how I’m doing and if the cancer is responding to treatment or not?
March 21, 2017
Levin, Mark, MD,Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS