How can I fully understand what my doctor says about my cancer treatment?

Be active during health care appointments. Ask questions. If you do not understand the answers you receive, ask again. If the answer is still not clear, ask the health care team to explain it to you in a different way. It may be helpful to practice asking questions before each health care appointment. This can help you become more comfortable and help you to clarify what you need to know.

For example:
  • I'm sorry, but I did not understand all that you just said. Would you mind explaining it again?
  • Would you explain how this medication will help me? Can it cause side effects?
  • I don't really understand the treatment plan. Can we please discuss the plan and my options?
  • I've been taking notes during the visit. Can I read back to you what I heard to be certain I understood everything?

Continue Learning about Cancer Treatment

Know Before You Go: Chemotherapy
Know Before You Go: Chemotherapy
Treatment for cancer can be as daunting as the diagnosis itself because of the unpleasant side effects associated with chemotherapy. But knowing what ...
Read More
Why should I use my own blood for a transfusion during cancer treatment?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
If you know in advance that you will be undergoing cancer treatment, it’s a good idea to store sever...
More Answers
How can I deal with fatigue caused by cancer treatment?
If you are undergoing cancer treatment or expect to be, it's important to plan for the eventuality t...
More Answers
Where Has the Most Progress Been Made in Cancer Treatment?
Where Has the Most Progress Been Made in Cancer Treatment?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.