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We understand how scary it can be to receive a confirmed skin cancer diagnosis from your doctor. And you probably have so many questions racing through your head — what does it mean, how will this impact my health, how will this affect my loved ones, what are my treatment options, and many more.
Though it may be hard to move forward past the stress and anxiety after a skin cancer diagnosis, it’s important to understand what’s going on with your health and how you can best work with your doctor to find the right treatment plan.
To help you prepare for your upcoming doctor’s appointments, we’ve put together a quick guide on what questions to ask your doctor after being diagnosed with skin cancer, as well as what you should do before, during, and after your appointment to get the most out of it.
Top Questions to Ask Your Doctor After Being Diagnosed with Skin Cancer
Questions to Ask About Your Diagnosis:
- What type of skin cancer do I have?
- What stage is my skin cancer at?
- Has the skin cancer spread to other parts of my body?
- Are additional tests needed before starting treatment?
- Will I need to see any other doctors before starting treatment?
- Should I seek a second opinion from another doctor?
Questions to Ask About Your Skin Cancer Treatment:
- What are the treatment options for my skin cancer?
- Which treatments do you recommend, and why?
- How soon do I need to decide on a skin cancer treatment?
- Are there side effects I may experience during my treatment? If yes, are they long-term or short-term?
- Will skin cancer treatment affect my appearance? If yes, how should I best manage the treatment side effects?
- How long will treatment last?
- When will my skin cancer treatment begin?
- Do you have any preparation tips for my treatment?
- What should I expect on the day(s) of my treatment?
- Will an overnight hospital stay be required after my treatment?
- What do you recommend for treatment follow-up care?
- Will I have a scar after my skin cancer treatment?
- What’s my rate of survival?
- Does insurance cover the cost of my skin cancer treatment? And if not, do you offer financial assistance to help patients pay for their treatment?
Other Questions to Ask Your Doctor:
- Will my skin cancer come back?
- What is the best way to tell my family I have skin cancer?
- Do you have any recommendations on how to best cope with the stress and anxiety of being diagnosed with skin cancer?
- Should my family members be worried about getting skin cancer? Is it hereditary?
- For my specific skin cancer, is there a clinical trial I could participate in?
- Do you have any recommendations on how to prevent skin cancer in the future?
How to Prepare for Upcoming Appointments
The best way to take charge of your health and understand your skin cancer is to optimally prepare for your upcoming appointments! How many times have you walked into a previous doctor’s appointment and completely went blank on all the questions you wanted to ask? We’ve had this happen on more than one occasion!
This is why it’s important to follow our tips below to best prepare for your appointments and get the most out of the time you have with your doctor.
- Write down all the questions before walking into your doctor’s office. (We recommend keeping a notepad with you or an open note on your phone and writing down questions when they pop up throughout the day.)
- Plan to bring someone with you. Ask a close friend or family member to join you for emotional support, as well as to help you remember important information.
- In the weeks leading up to your appointment, take inventory of the symptoms you’re experiencing and share them with your doctor.
What to Do During Your Appointment
There are a few things you should do during your appointments as well. This may include things like:
- Bring a notepad (or use your phone) and write down important information during the appointment to ensure you don’t miss anything essential.
- Be completely transparent with your doctor about your symptoms.
- Make sure to ask all your questions — don’t leave anything out! Your doctor will be happy to answer any questions you may have to ensure you know as much as possible about your skin cancer.
- At the end of your appointment, as your doctor for a quick recap on what he or she recommends for care and treatment steps.
- Before leaving, ask your doctor what steps you should take if you have any questions after the appointment. Should you call the clinic, or will another appointment be required?
What to Do After Your Appointment
The steps you take after your appointment are essential for keeping your health in check. We recommend following our top skin cancer prevention steps to ensure your skin stays happy and healthy.
Additionally, to learn more about your skin cancer treatment, research the various ways dermatologists treat and cure skin cancer. (We have a great article on 9 ways skin cancer is treated.)
Last but not least, stay calm and keep your stress in check. With a board-certified dermatologist by your side, your chances of beating skin cancer are amplified, and your doctor will do everything in their power to help you overcome this condition.
Skin Cancer Treatment at Brentwood Dermatology
We know skin cancer can be scary! But your dermatologist is here to be a helping hand on your skin cancer treatment journey. During every step of your treatment plan, we recommend asking all the questions you have about skin cancer and taking the time to do what’s best for you.
Brentwood Dermatology is a leader in skin cancer detection and treatment. If you notice a spot that’s concerning or have been recently diagnosed with skin cancer and are interested in learning more about your treatment options, give us a call at (615) 455-0046 to schedule an appointment right away.