Before choosing the best treatment for you, it’s important to understand the expected benefits, side effects, and risks of each option. Take written questions with you to each appointment and someone who is able to take notes for you. The following questions will get you started:
- What is the goal of treatment for my melanoma?
- What are the chances that the treatment will work?
- After treatment, will I be cured, in remission, or relieved of my symptoms?
- Are there other ways to achieve the same goal?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- If the treatment does not work, are there other options for me?
- What are the potential risks and side effects of the treatment I will receive? How do side effects of this treatment compare with the side effects of other treatments?
- How will I receive therapy, how often and for how long?
- Will my diet be restricted in any way? My activities? My work? Exercise? Sexual activity?
- Are there any clinical trials I could take part in?
- How much will my treatment cost? Will it be covered by my insurance or health plan?
- If the insurance company requests a second opinion or I would like one, whom do you suggest that I see?
(Adapted from the American Cancer Society)