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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?

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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.