Skin cancer is curable if it is detected in its earliest stages. Regular visits to the dermatologists and monthly self-examinations are key in finding changes to your skin. After being diagnosed with skin cancer, it is important to get as much information as possible from your doctor to make sound decisions about your care. To help you do this, here are some areas to cover with your doctor.
Finding out you have skin cancer can be shocking. However, knowing more about your diagnosis is important. It can help you to understand what is going on with your body. There are several questions you should ask, including:
- What type of skin cancer have you been diagnosed with?
- Has the cancer spread?
- Will you need further testing to determine if it has spread?
Your doctor will provide you with a lot of information from the start. Take notes during your visits so that you can review them later and discuss your condition with your friends and family.
Your doctor will talk to you extensively about your treatment options. Even though your doctor will likely cover many of the questions you will ask, you should have some ready to ask in case there is an area that is not covered. Some possible questions to ask include:
- Which treatment is recommended?
- How much time do you have to decide about the treatment options?
- What is your prognosis?
You should also ask your doctor about the side effects and risks associated with each treatment. How the treatment will impact your daily living is important, too. Ask your doctor to provide booklets, books, and other literature that can help you to understand each recommended skin cancer treatment.
Once treatment is over, there are still questions that need to be asked. For instance, you should ask your doctor about symptoms to watch out for. Spotting the symptoms early could help with detecting a recurrence of the cancer. You also should ask:
- How often should you be screened for cancer in the future?
- Are there special precautions you should take to lower your risk of a recurrence?
- Could you develop another type of cancer?
In addition to these questions, you need to ask about any fears or concerns that you have.
Throughout the course of your treatment, do not be afraid to ask questions. Your doctor is there to help you with your recovery and is vested in seeing you healthy again.