What should you ask your doctor about bladder cancer?
It is important for you to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how minor you might think they are. Some questions to consider:
- What type of bladder cancer do I have?
- Do you think my cancer has spread beyond the bladder?
- What is the stage and grade of my cancer, and what does that mean?
- Will I need to have other tests before we can decide on treatment?
- Will I need to see other doctors?
- How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
- What are my treatment options?
- What do you recommend and why?
- What is the goal of the treatment?
- What are the chances my cancer can be cured with these options?
- What risks or side effects should I expect? How long are they likely to last?
- If my bladder is removed, what are my options for urinary diversion? What are the pros and cons of each?
- How quickly do we need to decide on treatment?
- What should I do to prepare for treatment?
- Should I follow a special diet?
- How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
- What will we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer recurs?
- What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so you can plan your work or activity schedule. You may also want to ask about second opinions or about clinical trials for which you may qualify.
Last Medical Review: 11/15/2012
Last Revised: 01/17/2013