(Long Island, NY) You’ve just been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undoubtedly have a million questions on your mind. While it won’t be easy to shake off any of the anxiety or concern you may be feeling you will have to develop a plan with your doctor for treating your prostate cancer. Discussing your condition openly and honestly with your doctor will help you to feel less stressed of what may lie ahead. They will provide you with information regarding your treatment options, side effects of treatment and even the potential impact on any lifestyle changes. Understand that your doctor wants to answer all of your questions regardless of how minor you may think they are. This is increased understanding of what you’re going through will help you to feel more in control over the situation. In this sense you should view your relationship with your doctor as a partnership and take an active role in both your treatment and recovery.
Tips in Preparing Before Each Appointment
It will help you greatly beforehand to know some of the kinds of question you want to ask. There are also several things you can do to keep you both informed and organized.
- Before each appointment make a list of questions to ask your doctor
- Take notes of your interactions with your doctor to reference later
- Maintain a folder with all of your medical paperwork, medical visits, test results and any prescribed medications.
Questions You Can Ask
While these are many questions to ask your doctor these are just a few to get you started. If you come up with any on your own be sure to write them down and add them to this list.
- What is the clinical stage and Gleason score of my prostate cancer?
- Will any further testing be required?
- Are there any other specific doctors I should consult before deciding on treatment?
- What particular treatment is right for me? Why?
- What are the kinds of side effects I can expect from treatment?
- What significant lifestyles changes will I have to make because of my diagnosis?
- Will I have to make any changes to my diet?
- Are there any support groups you can recommend?
- Will my prostate cancer adversely affect my sexual life during and after treatment?
Along with some of these examples remember to write down any of your own questions to ask your doctor. If it helps you can also bring someone along with you to your appointments not only for support but to also help you think of questions to ask? Write down the answers to your questions so you understand what is being said and ask your doctor for clarification if necessary on any specific subject as it relates to your prostate cancer.
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery, and an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team and the chief medical correspondent for am970 in New York City, where he is heard Sundays at 10 a.m.