Primary Bone Cancer: Treatment Questions
Talking with healthcare providers about your 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 that you have and bring them to your appointments. Write the answers down in a notebook. Make sure you ask how the treatment might 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 might be. 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. This person may 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
Do I need any more tests before we decide on treatment?
What are my treatment options?
What treatment do you think is best for me? Why?
What are the goals of treatment?
What is the success rate of this treatment for my type and stage of cancer?
Will the treatment affect how I look, or how active I can be?
Will I be able to have children after treatment?
What is the average life expectancy for someone with my stage of cancer getting treatment?
How much experience do you have treating cancers like mine?
Should I get a second opinion?
Are there any clinical trials I should look into?
Does my insurance cover the treatment? How much will I have to pay?
Getting ready for treatment
How soon do I need to start treatment?
What can I do to get ready for treatment?
How long will each treatment take?
Where do I have to go for the treatment?
Who will give me the treatment?
Does someone need to go with me during treatments?
Can I take my other medicines, vitamins, herbs, and/or supplements during treatment?
How long will I be in treatment?
How will we know if the treatment is working?
Coping during treatment
How will I feel during and after the treatment?
Will I be able to go to work or school and be around my family during treatment?
What side effects can I expect?
Will there be side effects I need to call you about?
Who do I call if I have problems or questions?
What can I do to ease the side effects?
Should I change my diet? What foods can’t I eat?
How long will the side effects last?
Are there support groups nearby that I can join?
How will I feel after the treatment?
What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
Will I need any type of rehabilitation therapy after treatment?
How will we know if treatment worked?
What are my options if the treatment doesn't work or the cancer comes back?
Making a decision
Once you have answers from your healthcare provider, it’s time to think about your preferences. Think about what side effects you can and can’t tolerate. Talk about all of your concerns with your healthcare provider before making a decision about treatment.
June 12, 2018
LoCicero, Richard, MD,Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS