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Talking to Your Doctor About Prostate Cancer
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk of prostate cancer?
- What specific things can I do to reduce my risk of developing prostate cancer?
- What is the stage of my cancer? What does that mean?
- Has my cancer spread beyond the prostate?
- What treatment is appropriate for me? Why?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- How long will my treatment last?
- What benefits can I expect?
- What risks and side effects should I expect?
- Will the treatment affect my normal activities?
- Will treatment affect my sexual activity?
- What is likely to happen without treatment?
What medications are available to me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over the counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I am already taking?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
- Should I follow a special diet?
- Are there any dietary changes I should make? How do I go about it?
- Can you refer me to a registered dietitian to help me make dietary changes?
Should I begin an exercise program?
- What kind of exercise is best?
- How often should I exercise?
- How do I get started exercising?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol?
- If appropriate—how can I find help quitting smoking?
- How will my prostate cancer affect my sexual activity?
- Can you recommend some prostate cancer support groups for myself and my family?
- What are the chances my cancer will come back after treatment?
- How will I know that my treatment has been effective?
- What can I tell my wife, children, parents, other family members, and friends about my condition?
- What is my expected prognosis?
- How often will I need checkups?
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 09/2017
- Update Date: 09/17/2014