|Most cancers require
some surgery, usually a biopsy followed by a more extensive operation. Dont hesitate
to question your doctor about options, including
non-surgical ones. If youre not satisfied with the answers ask for a second opinion.
Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will ask
many questions. Be honest. They dont really care how much you drink, smoke, or use
drugs, but they must know in order to ensure your safety. Dont minimize your answers. If they dont ask about something
you think is important, offer it.
be asked to sign a consent form for surgery. The fine print will scare you silly.
Itll ask you to say you know you may die or suffer permanent brain damage. It
doesnt mean it will happen but it is the law that you have to know of all the risks.
Your stay in the
hospital may depend on the type of surgery you have, your doctor, the hospital, and/or
your insurance coverage. Some fairly extensive surgeries are performed on an out-patient
basis. Check your coverage and talk with your medical team and feel comfortable about what
may be eligible for some home or "visiting nurse" care following surgery. Talk
with your doctor. Such arrangements are made by the "discharge planner" of the
hospital, but know before you go.
While in the hospital ask to see a
social worker to help you with questions about transportation, insurance, finances, or
issues on which you need help. Read our list of questions to ask your social worker.
Youll probably see your surgeon
two or three times after you leave the hospital. If you have not been referred to an
oncologist during your hospital stay, be sure to ask your surgeon for a referral. It is
essential that cancer patients see an oncologist on a regular basis.
Read the list of questions to ask when dealing with cancer
and cancer treatments, particularly those relating to the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and hospital staff..
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