Your time is limited during a doctor’s appointment. And if you suspect you have mesothelioma, you’ll have a lot of ground to cover. The Mayo Clinic suggests you draw up a list of questions before the appointment, ordered from the most to the least important in case time runs out.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the protective lining covering many of the body’s internal organs, which is called the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is caused primarily by exposure to asbestos.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following basic questions to ask your doctor:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Will I need surgery?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you’re suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist? What will it cost, and will my insurance cover it?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing me?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
- What will determine whether I should plan for a follow-up visit?
The Mayo Clinic says you shouldn’t hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment any time you don’t understand something.
You should also be prepared to answer questions from your doctor, such as:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Do your symptoms affect your ability to work?
- Have you ever worked with asbestos?
The Mayo Clinic also suggests that “while you’re waiting to see your doctor, try to avoid anything that worsens your signs and symptoms. For instance, if you’re experiencing shortness of breath, try to take it easy until your doctor’s appointment. If your breathlessness becomes distressing or uncomfortable, seek immediate medical attention.”
If you or a loved one have contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.
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