When you learn that you have a serious health condition, there’s a lot to think about. Often, that includes weighing your treatment options. The more you know about your treatment choices, the easier it might be to decide what’s best for you.
First, ask your doctor to explain your medical condition and your treatment options. Work together to make a decision that’s right for you and your specific situation.
So what kinds of things should you consider? You might start by asking:
What are the risks and benefits of the treatment? Every treatment has pros and cons. For instance, you might want to find out about:
- The possible side effects of the treatment and how they might affect your life
- How the treatment may help you, and how likely it is to succeed
- How long you will need to receive the treatment
- How long your recovery will be if you will be having surgery
Are there any other treatment choices? If you want to explore other options, tell your doctor.
When should the treatment start? Often, there is ample time to think about treatment choices. But ask your doctor to be sure.
What treatment do you think is the best choice for me? Your doctor’s opinion is valuable, but how you feel about your care matters too.
Sources: American College of Surgeons; National Institute on Aging