You’re doing a lot to share in treatment discussions with your doctor. You clearly recognize the importance of open communication. We’ve included some resources you may find useful to help you to continue to have informed and helpful conversations with your doctor.
1 of 7
You know that your needs are relevant to your treatment, and you know that your doctor wants your help to understand what those needs are. Remember that it’s not a conversation you only have one time. Have the conversation at every visit. Make sure your doctor knows what’s happening with you so that you can agree on a path forward.
2 of 7
You clearly believe in being prepared and you seem to be doing as much as you can to have productive conversations with your doctor whenever you can. Keep up the great work, and if you need additional information or support, consider checking out the resources listed below.
3 of 7
Only you know the things that matter most to you. Only you know your hopes, dreams, and goals. And only you know your expectations and fears. As difficult as it was, you recognized the importance of taking an active role in the conversation around treatment options as soon as you could. You saw clearly that while your doctor is the medical expert, you are the expert on you.
4 of 7
You understand the importance and power of having goals and sharing them with your doctor. Communicating short- and long-term goals, and letting your doctor know when your goals may have changed, is information they want to know when discussing your treatment options.
5 of 7
Knowing who is responsible for what on your healthcare team, and how to contact them, is essential to keeping the lines of communication open when you need to discuss any aspect of your condition or your treatment. Well done!
6 of 7
However you feel you can best understand and retain information, it’s important to let your doctor—and your entire healthcare team—know. There’s a lot to learn and understand around metastatic breast cancer and treatment options, and the sooner you have a general understanding, the better.
7 of 7
Knowing which questions matter most to you, and what you most need clarity on, can help ensure that you get the answers you need and help you to agree with your doctor on a path forward. But you already knew that.
To continue to strengthen the conversations between you and your doctor, consider these resources:
NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Metastatic Breast Cancer, 2020.
Gilligan T, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35(31):3618-3632.
Find Your MBC Voice.com. Your treatment discussion guide: https://www.findyourmbcvoice.com/sites/default/files/ReadyToGoGuide.pdfAccessed October 5, 2021.
CancerCare. Doctor can we talk? Tips for communicating with your health care team: https://www.cancercare.org/publications/53-doctor_can_we_talk_tips_for_communicating_with_your_health_care_team Accessed October 1, 2021.
National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute. Helping cancer survivors cope with cancer-related anxiety and distress: https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2020/cancer-survivors-managing-anxiety-distress Revised April 30, 2020. Accessed May 22, 2021.
Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. Be your own best advocate: http://mbcn.org/be-your-own-best-advocate
Accessed October 1, 2021.
SHARE. Webinar: Difficult Conversations Bridging the Communication Gap with Your Oncologist: https://www.sharecancersupport.org/difficult-conversations-bridging-the-communication-gap-with-your-oncologist Posted July 14, 2017. Accessed January 28, 2020.
CancerCare. CancerCare Connect (R) Booklet Series. Communicating with your health care team: https://media.cancercare.org/publications/original/6-2020_Communicating_With_Your_Health_Care_Team.pdf Revised November 10, 2020. Accessed February 16, 2022.