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Other Issues That Impact Care

Communication & the Doctor-Patient Relationship
questions to ask the doctor • how to talk to your doctor • the importance of self-advocacy • the language of cancer

Managing Your Medical Records
organizing your care • medical forms

Communication, Self Advocacy & the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Questions to Ask the Doctor (People Living With Cancer)
Provides examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor. Topics include: general information, symptoms, diagnosis, staging, treatment, clinical trials, support, follow-up care and tips on talking to your doctor. [1/04]

Information for the Asking: Questions to Help You Get the Information You Need from Your Healthcare Providers (ALCASE)
Excellent ALCASE guide addresses issues related to patient-physician communication. Topics include: identifying your personal decision- making style, finding an advocate, and assessing your information needs. Provides a lists of questions to ask when selecting a new physician, when evaluating your physician's bedside manner, prior to and after testing, about treatment options, and about clinical trials.

Fighting Cancer: Physician-Patient Communication (R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation)
Offers guidelines for improving communications between patients and physicians.

Communication is the Key to an Excellent Doctor-Patient Relationship (
Stresses the importance of communication in the doctor-patient relationship. Topics include: information that might be helpful to your doctor, how much information do you want, asking questions, and understanding and remembering what the doctor says. [1/01]

How to Talk with Your Doctor (JAMA Patient Page/Medem)
Discusses the importance of open and honest patient-physician communication and the issue of confidentiality. Suggests ways to prepare for an office visit and what to expect from your doctor. [12/99]

Preparing for Your First Oncology Consultation (Oncolink)
Describes the different types of oncologists that patients see for evaluation and treatment. Offers a checklist of things patients can do to prepare for an oncology consultation that can make the experience easier. [11/01]

The Importance of Becoming Your Own Best Advocate (
Discusses why it is important to become your own best advocate and offers tips on how to learn self-advocacy. Suggests ways that cancer survivors can use their cancer experience to help others. [1/01]

Art of Oncology: Setting Goals to Maintain Hope (Journal of Clinical Oncology)
by Jamie H. Von Roenn and Charles F. von Gunten
v.21, no.3 Journal of Clinical Oncology (February 2003): 570-574
Interesting and helpful article written for practicing oncologists about how to establish a doctor-patient relationship that allows patients to maintain hope in the face of a deadly illness. Using a case of a man with advanced lung cancer, the authors illustrate an approach to decision-making that promotes hope. While this article is written from the perspective of a physician, it contains advice and information that patients can use in relationships with their own physicians. It would be a good article for patients to bring to their oncologists to initiate discussion of the important issues of hope, communication and the doctor-patient relationship. [2/03]

The Language of Cancer (Intelihealth)
Explains common cancer terminology that your doctor may use. Stresses the importance of asking your doctor for an explanation when you don't understand a word or term he or she uses. Registration required for free access to Intelihealth. [2/04]

Managing Your Medical Records

Organizing Your Cancer Care (People Living With Cancer)
Offers suggestions on how to best organize your cancer care so that you will be able to gain control and make decisions in a calm and timely way. Topics include: how to file paperwork, how to organize for medical appointments, and how to organize your finances. [2/04]

Medical Forms (People Living With Cancer)
Provides blank forms to help you manage the information you need for your medical care. Forms include: an extensive medical history form, a form to record test results, insurance information and appointment notes, and a form listing contact information for the members of your health care team. [7/04]

Patients' Perspectives: Managing Your Medical Records (
Shares the patient experience of managing medical records. Details the basic information you will need for your cancer journey: personal, physician, legal, and medications. Describes the various kinds of medical records you are likely to accumulate and provides suggestions on how to manage them. Aimed at breast cancer patients, but this helpful advice applies to all cancer patients. [01/99]


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Last modified: 18-Feb-2009
Karen Parles, MLS Editor