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Communication with your health care team is crucial to understanding your diagnosis and the treatment options available to you. The more you know and understand about your cancer, the better equipped you will be to deal with it. Writing down a list of questions you have and bringing it with you to your appointments can help improve communication between you and your health care providers. Conducting research at the library or on the Web about treatment options you’re curious about will also help increase your knowledge and guide you about what you should ask. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to; knowing the specifics will keep you better informed, and your doctor is there to help you.

Ask these 10 questions at your next exam to start improving communication with your doctor:

1. What does this diagnosis mean for me?

2. What medications should be used, and in what order?

3. Is surgery an option?

4. What are the side effects of treatment, and how severe will they be?

5. How will treatment help me? Do the potential benefits outweigh the risks?

6. Are there clinical trials open to me?

7. What signs should I look for that might indicate the ovarian cancer has come back?

8. How will this treatment affect my quality of life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?

9. If I’m worried about the cost of treatment, who can help me with these concerns?

10. Is there anything else I should be asking?

For more tips on communicating with your health care professional, visit these Web resources: