If you were recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be feeling anxious, uncertain, overwhelmed or all three. You may also have a sense of urgency regarding your treatment. While these feelings are understandable and valid, it’s important for you to pause for a moment and take a step back. Talk with your physician and try to gain as much information as you can about your condition and its treatment options. Ultimately, this will help you feel more confident in your decisions and prepared for the road that lies ahead.
As you cope with your bladder cancer diagnosis, your treatment team can serve as a valuable source of information and support. Good communication with your physician can improve your experience, outcome and quality of life, so you should be as candid and thorough as possible. Toward that end, you might want to prepare a list of questions to bring to each appointment and write down your physician’s responses. There will be a lot of information to process, so you might also ask a family member or friend to accompany you, take notes and serve as a second set of ears.
Questions to ask your oncologist about bladder cancer
To help you get started, here are 10 suggested questions to ask your bladder cancer physician:
- What type of bladder cancer do I have?
- What is the stage of my cancer?
- What are my treatment options?
- Which treatments do you recommend for me and why?
- Will my treatment affect my ability to urinate?
- Will my treatment affect my fertility?
- What type of side effects should I expect during my treatment, and how can I manage them?
- Should I seek a second opinion and, if so, can you provide a referral?
- Are there any clinical trials that might be suitable for me?
- Are there any supportive care services available to me?
If you’d like to talk with a bladder cancer specialist in the Urologic Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, you can do so with or without a referral. To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.