Most people ask more questions when ordering a meal at a restaurant or purchasing a cellphone than they do during an appointment with their health care provider. But there are plenty of questions to at least consider asking your doctor if you have multiple myeloma — at least 36 of them.
Thirty-six questions may seem like a lot — but the fact is, people who are involved in treatment decisions — including asking questions of their doctors
On the other hand, people who are less involved in treatment planning risk poor health outcomes when they don’t express their needs and preferences to their doctors.
Asking questions is a critical part of shared decision-making, an approach to health care in which you and your doctor discuss your multiple myeloma treatment options and goals and come to a mutual decision about which treatment is best for you. In shared decision-making, your doctor explains the potential benefits and risks of each treatment for multiple myeloma, and you help the doctor understand what is most important to you.
For shared decision-making to work, you must identify your priorities and communicate them to your doctor. Your main goal may be:
You may not need to ask all 36 of these questions, but the doctor discussion guide below can help you make the most of your time with your doctor and make sure you have all the information you need to participate in shared decision-making. Download it onto your phone or print it for your next doctor appointment.
There are more treatment options than ever for multiple myeloma, but it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of each. Shared decision-making can help you choose the best treatment for you with the guidance and expertise of your health care team. If you encounter problems with staying on your myeloma treatment, there are resources to help.
MyMyelomaTeam is the social network for people with myeloma and their loved ones. Here, a community of individuals comes together to share their experiences and encouragement with others.
What other questions would you recommend asking a doctor? Share your experience in the comments below or by posting on MyMyelomaTeam.