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10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Your Colon Cancer Diagnosis

from Johns Hopkins Health Alerts

A colon cancer patient asks, "My doctor just told me that I have colon cancer and will need to undergo colon cancer surgery. Should I get a second opinion?” Here’s the answer to this important question, plus answer to 10 other key questions you should ask your doctor after a diagnosis of colon cancer.

It’s common for patients to request a second opinion, especially before surgery or other involved treatment. Indeed, many insurance companies require a second opinion.

Ask your insurance company what your policy covers and if it requires you to see a doctor within that plan. Also tell your doctor you would like to have a second opinion. Most doctors are accustomed to this and will be supportive.

Ask for a referral and for copies of your medical records, including all test results, X-rays and other imaging tests to take with you to the next doctor. You may have to sign a release and pay a copying fee, but there should be no problem in getting your records. If a second opinion (or the doctor you wish to consult) is not covered by insurance, it may be worthwhile to pay for this examination out of pocket.

When you meet with your doctor, be prepared in advance with questions you want to ask. For example:

  • Where is the colon cancer located?
  • Is the cancer in more than one place?
  • Are the lymph glands involved?
  • Has the cancer spread outside the colon? Are other organs involved?
  • What stage is the colon cancer, and exactly what does that mean?
  • Is this type of cancer life threatening?
  • Are there other tests I should have?
  • How soon do I need to begin cancer treatment?
  • What are the side effects of cancer treatment?
  • Is colon cancer genetic? Could my children be at risk?

This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information.

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults Myth 1: There no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway. Fact:Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high […]

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