Questions to Ask Your Doctor

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Hawai‘i, there are many questions that you will want to ask your doctor in order to understand your diagnosis and to help determine your course of treatment. Mesothelioma is a rare disease, and only a handful of cases are diagnosed every year in Hawai‘i. You may not know very much about this disease.

You should not be afraid to ask questions. You need to understand your diagnosis. If the doctor uses words or terms that you do not understand, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to explain it to you in plain language.

Here are some of the questions you should consider asking.

  • What is my diagnosis? Can this cancer be cured?
  • Can this cancer be controlled?
  • How can my cancer be treated?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What treatments do you recommend?
  • What are the risks with each option?
  • What outcome can I expect from each option?
  • What can I expect when I undergo the selected treatment plan?
  • What can I expect when I undergo surgery?
  • What can I expect when I undergo a course of chemotherapy?
  • What can I expect when I undergo radiation therapy?
  • What can I expect when I undergo a combination of these three?
  • What are the side effects from each treatment option?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • Will this condition stay the same?
  • Will it get worse?
  • What are my chances for a cure?
  • What are my chances for a remission?
  • What is my life expectancy?
  • What testing will I have to undergo?
  • Will I have to be in the hospital for tests and treatments? If so, how often? For how long?
  • If I am hospitalized, can my spouse or someone close to me stay overnight?
  • Are there any clinical trials that I might qualify for?
  • Can you recommend another doctor that I can see for a second opinion?
  • Can you recommend another cancer center in Hawai‘i or on the mainland where they have experience in treating mesothelioma?
  • Could you arrange for me to be evaluated there?