What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia?

As you deal with Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) and the process of treatment, you need to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. You should ask about anything you don’t understand or want to know more about. Among the questions you might want to ask are:

  • How sure are you about my diagnosis?
  • Do I need any other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Do I need to see any other doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this disease?
  • Should I get a second opinion before starting treatment? Can you suggest someone?
  • What treatment options do I have?
  • Are there clinical trials I should consider?
  • Do you recommend starting treatment now or waiting until later on?
  • What would be the goal of treatment (to reduce symptoms, lower IgM levels, etc.)?
  • Which drugs do you recommend? How would you compare their effectiveness and side effects to others?
  • Is a stem cell transplant an option in my situation? What are the pros and cons of this 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?
  • What side effects might I expect from treatment?
  • How long will it take me to recover from treatment?
  • When can I go back to work or resume other activities after treatment?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
  • What is my outlook for survival?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

You will no doubt have other questions. Be sure and write them down so you remember to ask them during each visit with your cancer care team. Keep in mind, too, that doctors are not the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, might be able to answer some of your questions. You can find out more about speaking with your health care team in The Doctor-Patient Relationship.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: October 20, 2014 Last Revised: January 28, 2015

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