Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Bladder Cancer
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary. Ask for educational brochures and handouts.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
- Do I have any specific risk factors for bladder cancer?
- How much of a risk of developing bladder cancer do I face?
- Are there any risk factors that I can change?
- What makes you think I might have bladder cancer?
- How can we determine whether or not I have bladder cancer?
- Can you explain the tests I need?
- How accurate are the test results?
- What parts of the body are involved in my case? Is it restricted to the bladder?
- What kinds of treatments are appropriate for me?
- Will I need more than one type of treatment?
- Will I need to have my bladder removed?
- How will I function after that surgery?
- How long will my treatments last?
- What are the potential side effects/complications of the treatments?
- What is the chance that the recommended treatments will cure my bladder cancer?
- How will we know whether the treatments have been effective or not?
- While I’m receiving treatment for bladder cancer, will I be able to participate in my usual activities?
- What kinds of lifestyle changes can I make so that I can work with the treatments to fight bladder cancer?
- What kinds of lifestyle changes might make me more comfortable while I’m going through treatments?
- Do you have recommendations for any support groups for myself and my family?
- How extensive is my cancer?
- Is it confined to the bladder, or is it elsewhere in my body as well?
- What kind of prognosis does my kind of bladder cancer have?
- How do my other medical conditions affect my prognosis?
- Once I’ve completed treatments, what will we do to monitor whether the cancer returns?
Campell’s Urology. 8th ed. New York, NY: Elsevier Science; 2002: 2732-2765.
Cecil Textbook of Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 633-634.
Conn’s Current Therapy. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 720-721.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for bladder cancer. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website. Available at http://www.ahcpr.gov/clinic/2ndcps/bladdcan.pdf . Accessed December 2002.
What you need to know about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/bladder . Accessed December 2002.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -