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Questions to ask your doctor about colorectal cancer

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
 
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Questions to ask your doctor about colorectal cancer

You need information from your doctor so that you can better understand your condition and make informed decisions about your health care. To help you remember what the doctor says, you may take notes or ask whether you may use a tape recorder. Some people also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor--to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen.

Diagnosis

  • What tests can diagnose colorectal cancer?
  • Are they painful?
  • How soon after the tests will I learn the results?
  • Are my children or other relatives at higher risk for colorectal cancer?

Treatment

  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • What treatments are recommended for me?
  • Should I see a surgeon? Medical oncologist? Radiation oncologist?
  • What clinical trials might be appropriate?
  • Will I need a colostomy? Will it be permanent?
  • What will happen if I don't have the suggested treatment?
  • Will I need to be in the hospital to receive my treatment? For how long?
  • How might my normal activities change during my treatment?
  • After treatment, how often do I need to be checked?
  • What type of followup care should I have?

Side effects

  • What side effects should I expect?
  • How long will they last?
  • What side effects should I report?
  • Whom should I call?

The health care team

  • Who will be involved with my treatment and rehabilitation?
  • What role will each member of the health care team play in my care?
  • What has been your experience in caring for patients with colorectal cancer?

Resources

  • Are there support groups in the area with people I can talk to?
  • Where can I get more information about colorectal cancer?

 

Source: 

National Cancer Institute

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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