Much like winners in the TV game show “Jeopardy,” a cancer patient’s chances for success are greatly increased by putting their concerns in the form of a question.
In fact, one study shows that patients WANT to ask questions about and be more involved in decisions about their care.
“We know from experience that patients want to be engaged in the decisions about their care,” says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Michael Pavy. “For many cancer patients, the diagnosis signals a loss of control over their life. Not only does involvement in treatment decisions give a person back some sense of control, but also it’s truly the best approach we cancer specialists can take.”
A report issued by the Institute of Medicine specifically urges patient engagement in their treatment. One of the recommendations urges patients to ask their cancer specialists a list of questions before going ahead with treatments.
Key questions are:
ADVANCED CARE PLANNING
FAMILY, PSYCHOSOCIAL NEEDS
Oncology Specialist Patricia Ganz, MD, chaired the committee that wrote the report and emphasizes, “If you have a physician or team member that does not want to answer these questions, you need to find another set of providers.”
To see more questions the National Cancer Institute recommends you may want to ask, click here.
Sources: Institute of Medicine, American Cancer Society, American Society of Radiation Oncology, American College of Surgeons, National Institutes of Health.