Treatment planning

When your doctor first tells you that you have cancer, it is very stressful and you may not remember much. You may want to see the doctor a few times before deciding on treatment.

If your doctor uses medical terms you don’t understand, it’s okay to ask for a simpler explanation. It’s also okay to bring close friends or family members to each interview.

Each time, before you see any of the doctors involved in explaining and organising your treatment, it may help to write down your questions beforehand. Taking notes or recording the discussion can also help.

It is possible (though not very common) that some very highly specialised treatments may not be available at every cancer treatment centre. You should be informed of all available treatments and whether such a treatment would be of help to you. If it is not available at your centre then you should discuss with your doctor whether it would be in your interest to pursue this particular treatment option.

Sometimes your doctor may ask you to take part in a clinical trial, which is a research study to try out a new treatment, such as new anticancer drugs or drug combinations, or technique.

If you feel that you would like to not to have treatment or to stop treatment, but your family or your partner does not want you to, it might help for you and your doctor or a counsellor or psychologist to talk to your family or your partner about their feelings.