Talking to Your Doctor About Hodgkins Disease

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with Hodgkins disease. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your doctor

About Hodgkins Disease
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Was I diagnosed early?
About Your Risk of Developing Hodgkins DiseaseBased on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for Hodgkins disease?About Treatment Options
  • How do we best treat Hodgkins disease?
  • What are all my options?
  • What are the risks and benefits associated with this treatment plan?
  • How long will treatment last?
  • Are there side effects I should watch for?
  • Are there any medications I can take?
    • What are the benefits?
    • Are there any side effects I should watch for?
  • What will I need to change in my daily routine?
  • How will I feel during treatment?
  • What will I need to do to take care of myself during the treatment period?
  • What will we do if the treatment does not succeed?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies I should consider?
About Your Outlook
  • How likely is it that my treatments will kill all the cancer cells?
  • How do I know that my treatment program is effective?
  • What should I do to protect my ability to have children in the future?
  • Can you recommend a support group or other patients whom I can talk with?

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References

Hodgkin lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Societywebsite. Available at: http://www.lls.org/#/diseaseinformation/lymphoma/hodgkinlymphoma/. Accessed April 29, 2013.

Hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institutewebsite. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/hodgkin. Accessed April 29, 2013.

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