Diagnosis: cancer

The moment you are facing cancer, life comes to a standstill and the diagnosis dominates the lives of you and your loved ones. After the initial shock, there are many questions.

  • What will my future look like?
  • What are the implications for my loved ones?
  • Is there the ability to make your own choices?
  • What are my options?

Questions of your own, but also questions you need to ask or actually should have asked the oncologist, because the latter is often forgotten. 

Cancer does not have to kill you. 

Consider other advice from qualified experts before proceeding with treatment. Legally, you may record the conversation between you and the oncologist. However, it is neat if you mention it.

Taking notes

You can also take notes, of course. Always take someone with you who can support you. The most important thing is to ask questions and not take everything at face value without asking: it is your life and when you walk out of the hospital there is already another patient with your oncologist. This is not to say that you should not respect your oncologist because he or she has your best interests at heart.

  1. What kind of cancer do I have? 
  2. What stage is the cancer at? The speed of cancer development varies. Sometimes cancer takes years to develop, even in children.
  3. What does this stage mean? 
  4. What is the prognosis? You want to hear what your chances of recovery are not "how long you have left to live.
  5. Can I die from this disease? 
  6. Is the cancer extensive or metastatic? 
  7. How fast is the cancer growing? 
  8. Does the growth stage affect my treatment, and if so, what? 
  9. How do you determine which treatment is best for me? Do you consult with other hospitals and colleagues? 
  10. Are any other tests needed before starting treatment? 
  11. What are the side effects and other risks of your proposed treatments? 
  12. Will the treatment be completely reimbursed by my health insurance company? 
  13. If the doctor suggests surgery, again take the time to think about it and ask some questions related to the surgery. 
  14. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of surgery? 
  15. Are there any risks to surgery? 
  16. How long will I be hospitalized before surgery? 
  17. Will I fully recover after surgery? 
  18. What are the chances that during surgery it turns out that the tumor cannot be removed after all? 
  19. What is the risk of death during or after surgery? Ask if you want to know
  20. What happens if I don't want surgery? Make a consideration of whether the treatment outweighs the results.
  21. Why do you get so tired and lousy from chemo treatments? 
  22. Why is it that you often lose your taste? 
  23. Why do you go bald from chemo?
  24. Why does chemo make you forgetful? 
  25. How long can you suffer from chemotherapy after being declared cancer-free?Someone told me about a chemo brain; what is that? Chemotherapy can get through the blood-brain barrier into the brain. This has shown that 15 to 80% of people can experience cognitive symptoms such as forgetfulness, poor concentration, difficulty planning/organizing and learning new information.
  26. Can chemo affect the brain? 
  27. Is it true that chemo can cause cancer? See package inserts.
  28. I have heard that about 75% of oncologists themselves would not take chemo if they themselves were diagnosed with cancer. Why is that? 
  29. What can I do myself to increase the success of treatment? 
  30. What is the best food to eat with this type of cancer? Doctors do not learn much about nutrition during their training.
  31. Are there any foods I should definitely avoid? If you can eat anything, your doctor is not familiar with the relationship between diet and health.
  32. Do you think it is okay if I follow a fasting protocol during the period I may be receiving chemo? It has been scientifically studied at LUMC that fasting around chemotherapy reduces blood cell damage. https://www.lumc.nl/over-het-lumc/nieuws/2015/oktober/Vasten-rond-chemotherapie-vermindert-schade-aan-bloed-cellen/
  33. Can I see the package inserts for all the medications I will be taking? I want to read them at home. All package inserts can also be found on the Internet: * https://www.fagg-afmps.be/nl * https://www.apotheek.nl 
  34. Have you now complied with informed consent? An important tenet of health law is that the patient gives consent for medical treatment to be performed. After all, without consent there is an unauthorized violation of a patient's integrity. To give legally valid consent, the patient needs proper information. Therefore, before seeking consent, a physician must first provide the patient with information about the proposed examination or treatment.
  35. What else can be done if the treatment does not work, causes too many side effects or if the tumor continues to grow? 
  36. If I waive or temporarily forego the treatments because I want to seek alternative/integral cancer treatments will you continue to provide medical care and guidance in that case?
  37. Are you willing to possibly work with an integrative physician?

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