Cancer is almost a rampantly used term and this disease has somehow taken the world on its stride. Most families, these days, have someone or some acquaintance who has either recovered from this deadly disease or is still fighting the disease. But still, interestingly, most people do not know much about cancer and still believe in several myths about the disease.
There are various researches on cancer that conclude a host of things which should be done and which should not be done. However, among such a sea of available knowledge, the only competent authority who can give the precise information on the disease and the ways to prevent is one’s family physician or a most trusted doctor. But while consulting a doctor, one should also know the questions to ask a doctor about cancer.
But First! What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a broad term but primarily the disease affects the cells of the body. Cancer is the result of unusual cellular changes where mostly the cells are affected by uncontrolled growth and/or division of cells. However, this is not uniform across cancer affecting various parts of the body. Thus, while in certain forms of cancer, there is a visible rapid growth in the cells, there are certainly other forms of cancer where the cells grow and divide at a much slower rate than normal. Another difference between cancer includes visible growths such as tumours or no visible growth like in leukaemia.
Questions To Ask A Doctor About Cancer
Whether an individual is suffering from cancer or not, it is important to ask questions to one’s doctor about the disease. In this case, an individual can consult their family physician or can even ask a cancer specialist doctor online (given the invasion of technology in our lives). Some of the common questions about cancer, especially if someone has a doubt whether he or she has cancer, which should be asked to the doctor, are as below:
- What Type Of Cancer Does The Person Has Or Can Have: The answer to this question certainly would be based on certain health problems that the individual has been facing. In case the cancer is confirmed, then the answer to this question would make the individual stronger and be aware of his/her disease. In case the individual is yet not sure, this question would certainly lead to various relevant screening tests related to the type of cancer.
- Where Exactly Is It Located: Again this question would tend to bring the cancer patient awareness about the disease so that the power of healing can enhance because of proper focus.
- What Are The Risk Factors For This Disease?: Asking this particular question would make the individual and his/her family members about the probable risk factors such as not doing certain activities or restricting the consumption of certain foods.
- Is This Type Of Cancer Caused By Genetic Factors? Are Other Members Of My Family At Risk: This particular question would essentially help the individual and the immediate family be cautious about the type of cancer and take the necessary prevention as and when required.
- What Lifestyle Changes (diet, exercise, rest) Are Recommended In Order To Help The Individual Stay As Healthy As Possible Before, During, And After Treatment: Cancer is treatable provided proper treatment is done at the right time. Therefore, proper lifestyle changes can help the person affected with cancer return back to normalcy as soon as possible.
- Where Can One Find More Information About The Type Of Cancer: In this era of knowledge, people feel powerful with every bit of information but sometimes such pool of information can be misleading. Therefore, asking the authority about the right source of information would avoid such situations.
- What Are Some Common Symptoms Or Side Effects Of This Type Of Cancer: This particular question would help the individual prepare well for the disease and the treatment procedure. It would avoid unnecessary situations of depressions for the patient and his/her family. This question would also help the individual and his/her family to understand how such symptoms can be avoided or at least recover from such side-effects. This question would also answer whether there are certain activities or diet which can enhance the effects of the side-effects or what should be done in case the side-effects aggravate.
- What are my treatment options? Which treatments, or combination of treatments, do you recommend? Why? Will I need to be hospitalized for treatment, or is this treatment done in an outpatient clinic? What is the expected timeline for my treatment plan? Do I need to be treated right away? These questions should help the individual seek answers about his/her treatment while reducing the anxiety associated with such a treatment plan.
- How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities? What are the short-term side effects of this treatment? What long-term side effects may be associated with this cancer treatment? Will this treatment affect my fertility (ability to become pregnant or father children)? These questions would help the individual get positive hope about attaining normalcy in life while being more informed and prepared about the treatment of cancer.
While cancer might be a deadly disease, these questions to ask a doctor about cancer can surely help the patients gain confidence and take the treatment well to enjoy a longer and healthier life.
[cl-review quote=”Medically Reviewed By” author=”Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)” occupation=”Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad” avatar_image=”1325″ source=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Fin%2Fdr-kaushal-bhavsar-a8137355%2F|target:_blank”]