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Learning that you have skin cancer can be overwhelming. Therefore, some people find it helpful to make a list of skin cancer questions before their appointment with their doctor. Possible questions should address treatment methods, how to manage side effects, and how to pay medical bills. By asking skin cancer questions, you are taking an active role in your healthcare.
Skin Cancer Questions: An Overview
Although skin cancer has a better prognosis than most other types of cancer, learning that you have any type of cancer can be upsetting. People who are diagnosed with skin cancer may worry about skin cancer treatment, managing side effects, and medical bills. Some people find that it is helpful to make a list of questions before their appointment.
Questions to ask the doctor before skin cancer treatment include:
- What is the stage of the disease?
- What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?
- What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
- What can we do to control my side effects?
- Will the treatment affect my appearance?
- If so, can a reconstructive surgeon or plastic surgeon help?
- Will treatment affect my normal activities? If so, for how long?
- What is the treatment likely to cost? Does my insurance cover this treatment?
- How often should I have checkups?
- Would a clinical trial (research study) be appropriate for me?
Questions to ask the doctor before skin cancer surgery include:
- What kind of surgery will I have?
- Will I need a skin graft?
- What will the scar look like? Can anything be done to help reduce the scar?
- Will I need plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery?
- How will I feel after the operation?
- If I have pain, how will it be controlled?
- Will I have to stay in the hospital?
- Am I likely to have infection, swelling, blistering, or bleeding, or to get a scab where the cancer was removed?