Questions to Ask Your Doctor
It is always helpful to have someone accompany you to help you take notes and serve as your memory after the visit.
If this is your first visit after being diagnosed and/or you have not started treatment yet, here are a few questions you might want to ask your doctor:
- What are the results of the bone marrow biopsy and what is the phase of the disease? (Most patients are diagnosed in chronic phase)
- What treatment will I start? (Many patients will be started on Gleevec (also referred to as imatinib mesylate, at around 400mg/day), Sprycel (dasatinib with starting doses ranging from 70mgs to 140mgs/day), and Tasigna (nilotinib with starting doses starting at 400mgs/day). If your doctor is prescribing a different dose or one that falls outside these ranges, do you understand why?)
- What does this drug do and how will its effectiveness be monitored?
- What if I miss a dose?
- What are some of the side effects that I might expect with this drug and what can I do to minimize them?
- Are there any side effects for which I should seek immediate medical attention?
- How and at what frequency will my CML be monitored?
- Will you be following the NCCN Guidelines for monitoring my CML? (http://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/cml/#50)
- How do I buy this drug and will I need help with my insurance provider?
- Can I still have an occasional glass of wine or other alcohol while I am on this drug?
- Are there any other drugs that would interact with this drug?
- Is there a clinical trial for a new drug for newly diagnosed patients? If so, what would be the pros and cons of participating in a clinical trial?
- Do I need to be concerned about pregnancy, breast feeding or sterility?
- Will I be able to go to work? Is there anything specific I shouldn’t do while I am taking this drug?
If this is your first visit, make sure you make arrangements for your next visit before leaving the hospital or treatment center.