by, Carlos M. Garcia, M.D.
In this series we have provided valuable information to guide you through the process of empowering yourself with the ability to enter into an effective dialogue with an oncologist should the need ever arise. We conclude our series with these final questions when interviewing Oncologist that we hope will encourage you to explore all of your options if ever faced with a cancer diagnosis.
- Is this treatment that you recommend curative or palliative?
- If the treatment you recommend doesn’t cure my cancer, then what?
- Is the cure rate based on 5 years?
- What is the cure rate after 10 years?
- Where do these statistics come from?
If you recommend palliative:
- What’s the point of chemotherapy or radiation if it’s not going to cure me?
- How would drugs that make me sick give me better quality of life?
- How much time do you think I have to live if I do this treatment?
- How much time do you think I have to live if I do nothing?
- What is the 5-year disease-free survival rate for my specific diagnosis with this treatment protocol?
- What is the 5-year disease-free survival rate for my specific cancer if I do nothing?
- How much does chemotherapy contribute to 5-year survival for my cancer?
- Can you provide me with a reference for your answer to chemotherapy’s efficacy?
- What about 10-year survival? Are there any studies comparing this treatment protocol to patients to did nothing?
- What if the treatment doesn’t work?
- Have you ever taken or has a loved one ever taken any of these chemotherapy drugs to understand what they are like?
- Would you do this treatment if you had the same diagnosis as me, or would you just try to make the most of the time you have left?
- What would you do if you were in my position?
- What other treatment options are available besides what we’ve discussed?
- Can you refer me to a holistic practitioner so that I may understand their perspective?
- What do you recommend I eat while doing chemotherapy?
- Do you think diet matters? If not, why not?
- Can you provide me with evidence for this position please?
- Will I meet with a dietician prior to starting your protocol?
- Who will provide me with a diet or dietary recommendations?
- Will I lose weight with your treatment protocol?
- Define for me your definition of too much weight loss?
- How is excessive weight loss managed while under your care?
- Is it ok if I have ice cream and pizza?
- What’s the best anti-cancer diet?
- Are there any foods that I should avoid?
- I was thinking about adopting a plant-based diet, eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables, and juicing, is that ok?
Ask About Testing:
- I would like to get the Oncostat Plus chemosensitvity test to see which drugs my cancer will respond to before starting anything. Can you (Oncologist) order that for me?
- Given the fact that this test involves taking my blood, sending to another country, growing it in a laboratory condition, does it really reflect how drugs react in my body? (Oncologist)
- If you don’t believe in the Oncostat test, what testing will you order or recommend to make sure the drugs won’t be severely toxic to me?
- Spectracell blood test shows nutrient deficiencies in the body, do you order this test?
- How many patients have you permanently cured of my disease (Oncologist)?
- I’m really nervous about this and would like to speak to 5 of your patients with the same cancer as me that are cancer-free after 5 years. Is that possible?
- Do you have any patients with my kind of cancer that are in remission after 10 years?
- Can I speak to some of them?
- I understand that you cannot give me their contact information, but I give you permission to give those patients my contact information. Once your former patients agree to speak with me, can I ask your staff to contact me?
- If I decide to undergo treatment, will I be able to call you if I have questions after hours?
- I would like to take some time to change my life, would that be possible?
- How much time do I have to do this?
- How much time do I have to think about all this and make my decision?
- What is the scientific basis for your answer?
- Is it possible for the body to heal itself of cancer?
- If I decide not to do treatment, in order to enjoy the time I have left, will you support me with periodic blood tests and scans?
- Can I get a copy of my medical records before I leave today?
Thank you for taking the time to answer all of my questions!
See other series of ”How to Interview Your Oncologist”