Talking With Your Doctor
Your Doctor Can Help
Your doctor may be able to help you manage the side effects from your prostate cancer treatment. If you are concerned about any side effects, or if they become bothersome, discuss these concerns with your doctor as soon as possible. He or she can explain what can be done to help reduce some of these side effects. Managing your side effects can help you feel a little better during—and after—your cancer treatment.
That’s why it’s important to have a good relationship with your doctor and treatment team. You want to be able to communicate freely with them about any concerns you may have. If you find it difficult talking with your doctor about some topics, such as sexual side effects, keep in mind that your doctor and medical team are used to dealing with sensitive matters. The bottom line is that they are healthcare professionals who are there to help you feel better and stay committed to your therapy.
Use your doctor visits to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your condition since your last visit, including any:
- Changes in symptoms, side effects, or therapy
- New conditions
- New prescriptions or over-the-counter medications, including vitamins or herbal supplements, you have started
Keeping your doctor informed helps him or her have a full understanding of your health.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
To get the most out of your visits with your doctor and other members of your treatment team:
- Make a list of questions before each appointment.
- Take notes or bring another person (spouse/partner, child, or friend) to help you remember your questions and the answers.
- Get a phone number of someone from your medical team you can call with follow-up questions.
- Keep a folder or notebook for all your medical papers and test results.
- Keep a record of all medical visits and write down drugs you are taking now or have taken in the past.
- Keep a record of any side effects you may experience, including when and where they occur.
- Report any side effects you may experience to your doctor or medical team.