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Melanoma - Preparing for Treatment

People with melanoma often want to take an active part in making decisions about their medical care. They want to learn all they can about their disease and their treatment choices. However, shock and stress after a diagnosis of a melanoma can make it hard to think of everything to ask the doctor. It often helps to make a list of questions before an appointment. To help remember what the doctor says, patients may take notes or ask whether they may use a tape recorder. Some also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor—to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen.

These are some questions a person may want to ask the doctor before treatment begins:

  • What is my diagnosis?

  • What is the stage of my disease?

  • What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?

  • What are the benefits of each kind of treatment?

  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?

  • How will I feel after surgery?

  • If I have pain, how will it be controlled?

  • Will I need more treatment after surgery?

  • Will there be a scar? Will I need a skin graft or plastic surgery?

  • What is the treatment likely to cost?

  • Will treatment affect my normal activities? If so, for how long?

  • How often will I need checkups?

  • Would a clinical trial (research study) be appropriate for me? Can you help me find one?

People do not need to ask all of their questions or understand all of the answers at one time. They will have other chances to ask the doctor to explain things that are not clear and to ask for more information.

inserita da: www.cancer.gov il 09/03/2008

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