Questions to Ask Before Starting Chemotherapy

 Questions to Ask Before Starting Chemotherapy:

  • Since my PSA is rising again, do we discontinue the androgen deprivation therapy (“hormone therapy”)? Why or why not?
  • Are there additional hormone therapy approaches that we should explore?
  • Should I get a bone scan or CT scan to determine if the cancer has spread to my bones? What will the bone scan tell us?
  • Are there therapies that might help slow down the disease progression, especially to prevent the spread of the cancer to my bones?
  • If there is evidence that the cancer has spread to my bones, how can we treat it, slow down the progression and/or prevent bone pain? Am I a candidate for radiation to these spots?
  • What are all of the treatment options available to me at this time?
  • Is it important to consider the sequencing of treatment options so that we preserve as many options as possible in the future? Are you recommending any treatments that might prevent me from qualifying for a clinical trial in the future?
  • Should we consider chemotherapy?
  • What other treatment(s) might be appropriate and why?
  • What are the side effects of the treatment plan that we have selected?
  • Are there dietary changes that I could or should make to optimize my treatment?
  • Are there any other specialists that we should or could add to my treatment team to gain an additional perspective on treating my disease?
  • Should I consider joining a clinical trial?

 

Terms to know from this article:

androgen

A type of hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.

Hormone

A chemical made by glands in the body. Hormones circulate in the bloodstream and control the actions of certain cells or organs. Some hormones can also be made in a laboratory.

Bone scan

A technique to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream; it collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.

Progression

Increase in the size of a tumor or spread of cancer in the body.

PSA

prostate-specific antigen (PSA): A substance produced by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or infection or inflammation of the prostate.