What do I ask to an oncologist for the first time re colorectal cancer?

marc24 Member Posts: 92
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1

I scheduled my mother to meet an oncologist for the first time and I wanted to ask you all what important questions i need to ask the doctor. After my mom's diagnosis during her colonoscopy as well as her ct scan last week, my mom has been going to the bathroom more frequently now, normally having blood...basically she goes every couple of hrs or every time right after she eats...also we checked her in the emergency room yesterday for the bleeding and the doctor just sent us home after we explained that she was diagnosed with rectal cancer and will we only be told to come back to the ER if the bleeding persists or is uncontrollable. He stated that the bleeding is "normal" for her serious situation and I am just scared as to how all of a sudden she has to go to the bathroom sooo often nowadays..please give me and my family some needed advice before we visit the oncologist tomorrow morning?? thanks as always...


  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    Some thoughts
    Her doctor will likely have lots of information for you, since she's been tested and diagnosed already. So you will probably have questions that will come to you during the visit, depending on what he says. I would ask about the bleeding, of course, and see if perhaps it would be better for her to be in the hospital if her symptoms are that severe. You'll also want to know what course of treatment is recommended, how long that treatment will last, what side effects she may have, etc.

    I know this is a very scary time for you and your mom. She is fortunate to have you there with her.

    Oh, it would be helpful to start a notebook with your questions, notes about things that happen with your mom, etc. It would be really good to jot notes about what the oncologist tells you. It's such a shock to the system; you may forget a lot if you don't.

  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342 Member
    hi marc
    Hi Marc24,
    I don't know if you'll have time to read this before your mom's apt. tomorrow but I want you to know we are thinking of you. Gail is right that it is important to have a notebook and folder to keep papers in. We have divided our notebook into sections such as: contacts and phone numbers (drs., insurance, etc..), questions, appointment notes...

    I know that we asked about side effects, supplements, exercise, diet and more at that first appointment. We asked about studies that are being run and options for chemo.

    Best of wishes for tomorrow.
  • kmygil
    kmygil Member Posts: 876 Member
    Ask Away!
    Marc, you are such a dear. Everyone's advice is right on. Try to formulate some questions beforehand; they will likely be answered in the conversation you have with the oncologist. Keep notes on everything--prospective treatments, what drugs, how often, what side effects, diet etc etc. When he or she recommends something, turn it around and ask if that is what they would do if it were their mother/sister/daughter. I actually had one doctor change his recommendation based on that question. Keep the faith.

    Hugs and prayers,
  • marc24
    marc24 Member Posts: 92
    I will do those things..the appointments in 2 hrs so good thing i checked back here..thanks for the wonderful tips so far and hope for the best..thank you