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Talking to Your Doctor About Multiple Myeloma
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with multiple myeloma. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Multiple Myeloma
- What is the stage of my multiple myeloma?
- What does the staging mean?
About Treatment Options
- How do I best treat multiple myeloma?
- What are the risks and benefits associated with this treatment plan?
- What other options are there?
- How long will the treatments last?
- What will they cost, and will my insurance cover it?
- What side effects can I expect?
- What will I need to change in my daily routine?
- How will I feel during treatment?
- What will I need to do to take care of myself during the treatment period?
- What will we do if the treatment does not succeed?
About Lifestyle Changes
- Are there lifestyle changes I can make to help my prognosis?
- Can you recommend a support group?
- How do I know that my treatment program is effective?
- Should I consider participating in a clinical trial?
Multiple myeloma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116888/Multiple-myeloma. Updated August 16, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated May 2014. Accessed May 5, 2016.
What should you ask your doctor about multiple myeloma? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiplemyeloma/detailedguide/multiple-myeloma-talking-with-doctor. Updated January 19, 2016. Accessed May 5, 2016.