7- Preparing for your appointment Bladder Cancer


What you can do

1 • Write down your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to kidney stones.

2 • Make a list of all your medications, as well as any vitamins or other supplements that you take.

3 • Take your wife or partner along, if possible. Your partner can help you remember something that you missed or forgot during doctor's appointments.

4 • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.

5 • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For bladder cancer, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

• Do I have bladder cancer?
• What is the stage of my cancer?
• Will I need any additional tests?
• What are my treatment options?
• Can any treatments cure my bladder cancer?
• What are the potential risks of each treatment?
• Is there one treatment you feel is best for me?
• Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
• Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
• Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow more time to cover other points you want to address. Your doctor may ask:

• When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
• Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
• How severe are your symptoms?
• What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
• What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?

Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment when you don't understand something.