For any of you that have recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, my heart goes out to you. Not only is this a frightening time in your life, but you have been called on to learn a new language at the same time. CT scans, PET scans, biopsies, bronchoscopy first, then chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, clinical trials. We know that patients are increasingly being called upon to play an active role in their care, and with lung cancer, this is no exception. In many cases, there are several treatment options available. How can you understand these options so you can make a decision about treatment that is right for you?
I think a good place to start is by asking questions. Printing the list of questions below, and adding questions that you and your loved ones think of before your appointments, can help you remember to cover things that are sometimes forgotten during this difficult time. Having someone with you at appointments to make sure the questions are answered and taking notes is helpful. It is also nice to have these written down when you return home and face the "what did the doctor say?" questions from concerned family and friends.
Everyone has different desires and needs when it comes to cancer treatment. Asking questions can help you and your oncologist work together to best meet those needs.