It's important to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how minor they might seem. Don't be afraid to ask them. Here are some questions to get you started:
- Has my cancer spread beyond the gallbladder?
- What's the stage of my cancer, and what does that mean in my case?
- Do I need other tests before we consider treatment options?
- Do I need to see any other kinds of doctors?
- How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
- Should I get a second opinion?
- What are my treatment options?
- Can my cancer be removed with surgery?
- What do you recommend and why?
- What is the goal of treatment?
- What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest? How long are they likely to last?
- How quickly do we need to decide on treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
- How will treatment affect my daily activities?
- What are the chances my cancer can be cured with these treatment plans?
- What would my options be if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
- What type of follow-up might I need after treatment?
- Where can I get more information and support?
Along with these, be sure to write down some questions of your own. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so you can plan your work or activity schedule. Or you might want to ask about qualifying for clinical trials.
Keep in mind that doctors are not the only ones who can provide you with information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers to some of your questions. You can find out more about speaking with your health care team in The Doctor-Patient Relationship.