3 Things To Ask Your Doctor Before You Start Cancer Treatments

Being diagnosed with cancer can be incredibly overwhelming, and there is a good chance you will have all kinds of questions. Unfortunately, since having cancer is new to most people, you may not know what to ask until you are left with a new challenge. Here are three things you should ask your doctor before you start treatment. 

1.    What do the studies say?

Before you start any variety of treatment, it is important to understand the potential benefits and risks of using that particular medicine. When your doctor prescribes a treatment, take the time to talk with your doctor about what the studies say about it. Ask if any clinical trials have been conducted, how the patients did, and what it could mean for your recovery process. 

If possible, read the studies on your own to understand how previous patients responded to the treatment. Keep your expectations realistic, and try to understand that other people may respond differently than you will. 

2.    What are the side effects?

Talk with your medical team about what the potential side effects could be, and what you can do to mitigate any problems that may come your way. Ask your doctor how the different side effects could manifest, and what to watch out for when you go home from the treatment. Be mindful of the fact that some side effects could be serious, so you should always keep in touch with your doctor. 

3.    How will this impact my daily life?

Your quality of life is important, so chat with your doctor about what your treatment journey looks like and how it will impact your daily life. Find out if your medical team suggests continuing to work or taking time off to focus on your recovery. You should also find out if and how the treatments will impact your ability to drive, since traveling on your own under the influence of certain medications could put you at risk for serious charges.  

Speak with your physician about how long you will likely be in treatment, and what percentage of patients fully recover from their illnesses. You should also ask about recurrence rates so you can develop realistic expectations. 

Going through a cancer journey can be incredibly challenging, so don't hesitate to talk with your medical team if you have any problems or questions along the way. Let family members and friends help you when they volunteer, and be mindful of how the people around you receive any news you may have to give. Remember, by staying strong and having a great attitude, you can improve your daily life, even while you undergo complex medical treatments. Contact a provider like the Silver Cancer Institute to ask any other questions that you have about cancer treatments.