2- Preparing for your appointment Kidney cancer


What you can do

1 • Write down your symptoms you're experiencing,including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.

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

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

4 • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be hard to remember all the information, and a relative or friend may hear something that you missed or forgot.

5 • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

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

• Do I have kidney cancer?
• Has my kidney cancer spread beyond my kidney?
• Will I need more tests?
• What are my treatment options?
• What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
• Can my kidney cancer be cured?
• How will cancer treatment affect my daily life?
• Is there one treatment option you feel is best for me?
• If your friend or family member were in my situation, what would you recommend?
• Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
• Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
• Do I need a follow-up visit?

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.