You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with prostate cancer. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
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
About Your Risk of Developing Prostate Cancer
Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk of
What specific things can I do to reduce my risk of developing prostate cancer?
About Prostate Cancer
What is the stage of my cancer?
What does that mean?
Has my cancer spread beyond the prostate?
About Treatment Options
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?
Talking with your doctor. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/booklets-flyers/talking-with-your-doctor-english-pdf.pdf. Updated November 17, 2015. Accessed March 30, 2017.
Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Updated May 2014. Accessed March 30, 2017.
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