Talk with your doctor.

A cancer diagnosis is life changing. Every situation takes time to process and understand. There are many questions, concerns and decisions to make – all of which require that patients and families have meaningful conversations with doctors. Clear communication is key. Here are some suggestions to help make those discussions easier.

Talk with Your Doctor

  • Write down your questions and bring them with you to your appointment. A list may help you focus and reduce the stress of forgetting something during your visit. 
  • Bring a notebook to your appointment. Write down the answers to your questions and make notes about anything you don’t understand.
  • Bring a family member or friend with you to your appointment to take notes for you and be your second set of ears.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to repeat or explain anything you don’t understand. Ask the doctor to slow down or use plain language or provide examples or draw a diagram – whatever it takes to help you understand.
  • Ask where you can find additional information about your condition. Many doctors have brochures and booklets readily available. 
  • Share information with your doctor that you find on the internet or in books or magazines, but always check the sources of the information to ensure its credibility.
  • Let your doctor know if you are interested in seeking a second opinion. Most doctors respect the value of second opinions. Your current doctor may even be able to recommend another doctor.

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