In order to make an informed decision about your own cancer treatment, you need to (and have a right to!) ask every question that arises in your head (and heart).
It may be very useful for you to keep a diary/notebook to chart your treatment journey – like noting down questions to ask at your next appointment, and then writing down the answers during the appointment itself; or writing down side-effects etc.
Here are the key questions you should ask your doctors about your specific treatment plan:
- What treatments are recommended for my cancer?
- What are the short-terms risks of this treatment?
- What are the possible long-terms risks of this treatment?
- Is this hospital able to give me access to the most up-to-date treatment for this kind of cancer — or should I be look further afield?
- Which are the medical centres of excellence for my particular kind of cancer?
- Are there an adjuvant (‘extra’ or ‘additional’) treatments which will further improve my chances of survival or well-being?
- Are there any ‘medical frontier’ treatments for my kind of cancer available? Are they only available privately – and if so, at what sort of cost?
- Are there any promising research trials going on for my kind of cancer?
- Are there other types of cancer specialists who may be able to help me? e.g. a surgeon, medical oncologist, GP, palliative care physician, anaesthetist.)
Also, in terms of the timing of your treatment, these are important questions to ask yourself:
- Do I want to go straight into medical treatment of my cancer or do I need time to prepare myself mentally, physically and practically (eg. lifestyle, work etc.)?
- Do I want to put medical treatment on hold as an option, while I work only with a holistic approach in improving my health? Do I want to try alternative cancer treatments?
- If I do wish to defer medical treatment while trying to use natural methods, am I sure I’m not putting myself at undue risk?
Top Breast Cancer Apps (for Android and iPhone!)
Cancer Guide App (only for iPhone…)
And, for those you with an old-fashioned passion for stationery: click here for some gorgeous (and effective!) journey-journaling ideas!