3- Preparing for your appointment Prostate

If you have signs or symptoms that worry you, start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. If your doctor suspects you may have a problem with your prostate, you may be referred to a urinary tract specialist (urologist). If you're diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be referred to a cancer specialist (oncologist) or a specialist who uses radiation therapy to treat cancer (radiation oncologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.

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 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.

4 • 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 prostate cancer, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

• Do I have prostate cancer?
• How large is my prostate cancer?
• Has my prostate cancer spread beyond my prostate?
• What is my Gleason score?
• What is my PSA level?
• Will I need more tests?
• What are my treatment options?
• Is there one treatment option you think is best for me?
• Do I need cancer treatment right away, or is it possible to wait and see if the cancer grows?
• What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
• What is the chance that my prostate cancer will be cured with treatment?
• If you had a friend or family member 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?

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.