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What questions to ask the doctor about the treatment

Once a doctor has confirmed your diagnosis, he/she will then offer you one or more treatment options. These options may range from a choice of medication to a choice of procedures. The final decision about what treatment to take is obviously yours but you can only make an informed decision if you have sufficient information.

Once your have been informed about your treatment options you may want to find out about each where the treatment can be obtained and how long the treatment will take. Clearly, different treatment options suit different people depending on their circumstances thus even the cost of the treatment may influence which one is chosen in the end. Other factors that may influence your decision are what side effects or risks are associated with the treatment and indeed what the positives and negatives are of each treatment. You will also need to have a clear idea of what to do if you do experience side effects. Furthermore, you may want to know what happens if you don't take any treatment, if you delay starting treatment or if you fail to complete the full course of the treatment. If the treatment is complicated, you may want the doctor to provide you with a written treatment plan.

Another important question to ask your doctor is whether you should avoid anything during the treatment and whether you should undertake any lifestyle changes. You may also want to find out whether the treatment may affect your ability to work and what your short and long term prognosis is likely to be.

Upon the conclusion of your session, you may still be uncertain about what treatment option to take or which one is more suitable for you so it's a good idea to find out from your doctor where you can get more information about your treatment options. Otherwise, good sources of more information are the internet (use only credible websites), library, other professionals in the medical field or even other people with the condition.

Finally, if your treatment causes unexpected or unwanted side effects or doesn't seem to be working, let your doctor know immediately so he can look at changing the diagnosis or treatment.

Summary of questions you may have regarding your treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • What is the cost of the treatment?
  • Where do I get the treatment?
  • Is there a generic form of my treatment and is it as effective?
  • Which treatment is most common for my condition?
  • What side effects can I expect?
  • What risks are associated with the treatment?
  • What are the benefits of the treatment?
  • What would happen if I didn't have any treatment?
  • What would happen if I delay may treatment?
  • Is there anything I should avoid during treatment?
  • What should I do if I have side effects?
  • How will I know if the medication is working?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of my medication?
  • Do I need to make any lifestyle changes?
  • Will my job be affected?
  • What is my short and long term prognosis?
  • Request a written treatment plan if necessary?
  • Where can I find more information about treatment options?

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