Prostate Cancer: Make the Most of Doctor Appointments

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Doctors frequently have only a limited amount of time with each person they see with regular examinations. (Of course, there is also time spent reviewing the chart and records outside of the exam room.) When either one or both parties fail to communicate, the experience may be perplexing and stressful, particularly if you’re provided new information or instructions to obey.

 

Although going to the doctor’s office may be unnerving, you can reduce the tension and anxiety by making sure you have all the details you need. You can also enhance the efficiency of health care by assisting the doctor in gaining a better understanding of your symptoms, condition, and treatment preferences.

 

Make a note of what you ought to inform the doctor before the appointment. Make a list of any concerns or queries you have. Include a  list of all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or supplements you’re taking, as well as their names and dosages. It is crucial that you carry this list with you to the appointment; don’t hope to recall everything. Check the list when you exit the office and make sure you’ve addressed everything. This easy process benefits both you and your doctor by focusing the discussion and ensuring that all of your concerns are resolved.

 

Some of the questions listed below are worth considering.

 

  • What is the reliability of digital rectal exams and prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests?
  • What stage of cancer am I in, and what does that imply about my prognosis?
  • What are the costs, advantages, and risks involved with each treatment option that is suitable for me?
  • How can I figure out which treatment option is best for me?
  • Is there any indication that the cancer has progressed?
  • Is it possible for my condition to go untreated without compromising my health?
  • Will I become impotent?
  • Is it appropriate for me to go on with my usual activities whilst undergoing treatment?
  • How long would it take to complete the treatment?
  • Does my treatment have any long-term repercussions?

If you don’t understand something, don’t be reluctant to express it. Doctors are human, and they may not always notice that they haven’t articulated anything clearly or in terms that you can comprehend. Never be ashamed or embarrassed to seek the doctor’s clarification on what they’ve stated. If you’re doubtful, repeat what your doctor said and check if you’re on the right path. You may even inquire whether they have any particular reading materials about your condition which they recommend.

 

If your doctor asks you questions that seem embarrassing or intensely personal, keep in mind that this detail helps them to establish the appropriate diagnosis for you and determine which treatment is most suitable.  Never deceive when questioned about alcohol or drug usage, sexual history, or other aspects of your lifestyle. Admit  the truth on how well you’re pursuing a treatment plan or consumption of your prescriptions. Failure to disclose the truth can have a negative impact on the quality of your care and may result in a misdiagnosis or treatment.

 

Finally, medical assistants and nurses in the office may have additional  information. Don’t be reluctant to ask them questions regarding your own concerns.

Making preparations for your doctor’s appointment is an essential step toward being a collaborator in your health care and an advocate for your health and well-being. A good doctor will indeed urge you to learn as much as you can about your condition and will appreciate your active involvement in your care.

Sources

Referenced on  10.4.2021

  1. https://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/making-the-most-of-your-appointment 
  2. MedicineNet: “Making the Most of Your Appointment."
  3. National Cancer Institute.

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