Are You Making The Most Of Your Doctor’s Appointments?
Last updated: December 2021
You are a cancer fighter. The first thing that I think is good to acknowledge is you are the person who can take the best care of yourself. Taking the best care of yourself does not mean you don’t need a doctor. Be careful to discuss your condition in detail with your doctor.
It's good to make sure that you make the most of your doctor’s appointment, because at times, doctors may also skip certain things. Try to educate yourself about the treatment, disease, and care they are offering.
Sharing your concerns
The first step in making the most of your doctor’s visits is making sure you talk about all your doubts, concerns, issues, and symptoms. Make a list of things that you want to discuss with your doctor, and keep adding stuff throughout the week. Go through the list once before going to the doctor, so you don’t miss anything.
This may be beneficial for both you and the doctor. The doctor will try to develop the best possible understanding of your condition, and then your treatment can be devised accordingly. Add any medication, over-the-counter medicines, supplements, or prescription drugs you are taking into the list, and let your doctor know about them.
Doctor appointments can be a stressful task, and most people are quite intimidated by doctors. To be the best caretaker of yourself, you need to overcome the barriers and talk to your doctor in detail. Now, you must be wondering what to talk about?
Making an informed decision
If you are at the screening stage, discuss with your doctor the reliability of digital rectal exams and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Are you are done with screening?
Try to discuss in detail the stage of your cancer, level of risk, and the treatment options available for you. If you are at the stage of treatment, ask your doctor about the costs, benefits, and risks of each treatment option.
This awareness can help you to make an informed decision at every stage of your cancer journey. Throughout this journey, keep yourself indulged in the process so you can feel empowered.
Clearing any doubts
In addition, try to clear out any doubts or concerns you have regarding prostate cancer.
Common concerns include:
- Is there any indication of spreading of cancer to other parts of the body?
- What will be the consequences if I leave it untreated?
- Will the treatment or cancer make me impotent?
- What could be the side effects of the treatment?
- What will be the long-term consequences of the treatment?
Understanding the doctor
You can set aside any hesitation or shame when it comes to treatment. Understand that your doctor is here to make you feel better, but I think that is only possible if you openly discuss everything with them without any hesitation.
Do not hesitate to ask your doctor questions at your appointment if you don’t understand something. Make sure you understand what the doctor is saying about your illness because, in the end, you are the best caretaker of yourself.
Has prostate cancer changed your life? (Select all that apply)
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