Questions to Ask the Health Care Team about Mesothelioma

It is critical to talk frequently with your medical practitioner and health care team to make informed and calculative decisions regarding your health care. These recommended questions are a perfect place to start learning more about your medication. You are also urged to ask any questions that concern you. 

Questions to ask after getting a diagnosis

  • What form of mesothelioma am I suffering from? Is it benign or cancerous?
  • What is the tumor’s grade? What exactly does this mean?
  • How many mesothelioma patients do you treat each year?
  • Do you go to expert medical oncologist meetings to discuss complex tumor cases? What types of specialists attend these types of discussions?
  • Can you explain more about my pathology report, also known as laboratory test results? 
  • What is the stage of cancer? What does that mean?

Do you have any reading materials that I could use to comprehend this disease better?

Questions to ask about choosing a treatment and managing side effects

  • What alternatives do I have for treatment?
  • What clinical studies are there for me to participate in? Where can I find them, and How can I learn and understand more about them?
  • What treatment plan do you suggest? Why do you recommend the same?
  • What are the objectives and goals of each of the therapies? Is it to remove the tumor, to make me feel better, or both?
  • When should I start my treatment?
  • Is it necessary to get a second opinion from any other medical practitioner?
  • Where will I receive my treatment? Do you have any recommendations for the best centres that treat mesothelioma as it’s a rare type of cancer?
  • What are the potential long-term and short-term side effects of this treatment?
  • Who will be in charge of my overall treatment?
  • What impact will this treatment have on my daily activities and life?
  • Could this treatment have an impact on my sexual life? If so, in what way and for how long will it last?
  • Are there any chances for this treatment to impair my capacity to become pregnant or have children? If so, is it recommended to consult with a fertility professional before beginning treatment?
  • Who can help me if I am concerned about managing medical care expenditures?
  • What types of assistance are accessible to me? What about my family?
  • Do you collaborate with a social worker who helps people with mesothelioma?
  • Do you know of a support group for mesothelioma patients?
  • When you’re not available, who takes care of the patient’s questions?
  • Who should I contact if I have any queries or problems?

Questions to ask about having surgery

  • What kind of operation am I going to have?
  • How long will the procedure take?
  • I’m not sure how long I’ll be in the hospital.
  • Could you please help me understand my post-surgery recovery?
  • Who should I get in touch if I have any side effects? And when will it be?
  • Can you explain the potential side effects of this treatment?
  • What are the long-term consequences of undergoing this operation?

Questions to ask about having radiation therapy or chemotherapy

  • What is the primary goal of the medication?
  • How long will it take to administer this kind of therapy?
  • What may I expect as a side effect of the treatment?
  • Who should I contact if I have any side effects? And when will it be?
  • What are the long-term consequences of receiving this treatment?
  • What steps can be taken to alleviate the adverse effects?

Questions to ask about planning follow-up care

  • What is the likelihood that the tumor will recur? Should I be on the lookout for any specific signs or symptoms?
  • What long-term or late impacts are conceivable due to the treatment I received?
  • What follow-up tests will I require? How frequently will those tests be needed?
  • How may I obtain a treatment summary and a survivorship care plan for my records? 
  • Who will be in charge of my follow-up care?
  • What kind of survivor support services are accessible to me? What about my family?

It is critical to note down all the questions. For example, you might want to inquire about any of the virtual support groups or nearby support groups where you can talk with other cancer patients and caregivers who are going through a similar situation. Or you can also ask if you are eligible for any of the clinical trials. You also need to understand that medical practitioners aren’t the only ones who can give you quality information; medical professionals, such as oncology nurses and social workers, can also answer some of the important questions. To learn and understand more about discussing with your medical practitioner and health care team, check out The Doctor-Patient Relationship.