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Questions to Ask Your doctor

Diagnosis:

  • What is my Gleason score, the grade and the stage of my cancer? 
  • How aggressive is this cancer? Is it likely that my cancer will spread? (Has it spread?)
    • If the cancer has spread, where? 
  • Do I need more tests now? 
  • What type of schedule should I be on to track changes with this cancer?

Treatment:

  • What are my treatment choices (including surveillance, localized therapy or systemic therapy)?
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
    •  What are the time considerations and costs for each? 
    • What is your experience with each option? 
    • Would I have to go somewhere special to get treatment?
  • Why do you recommend one type of therapy over another?
  • What are the chances for each treatment to manage my cancer and for how long?
  • What are the chances of complications from each treatment?
    • What kinds of complications are likely from each?
    • When are they likely to occur?
  • What if I choose no treatment (watchful waiting or active surveillance)?
    • How often will I need to take follow-up tests?
  • If I use hormone therapy, what type do you suggest and why?
    • How would we manage potential side effects from hormone therapy? 
  • What are the chances that my cancer will return after treatment - and if it does, what options for treatment do I have then?
  • Can we develop a short and long-term plan for my care?
  • Is there someone you would recommend for another opinion?

Side Effects & Recovery:

  • What are the potential side effects of the treatment you recommend: both immediately and in the long term?
  • How can I manage side effects?
    • How would we manage potential urinary dysfunction and for how long?
    • How would we manage potential erectile dysfunction and for how long? 
    • What other side effects should I consider?
  • How much recovery time will be required after surgery?
  • Will I need to take time off from work or other activities to manage treatment and treatment side effects?