- Am I a good candidate for surgery? What about anatomic abnormalities, previous hernia, effects of anesthesia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or other comorbidities?
- I would like to get a second opinion on my biopsy slides from Epstein's lab at Johns Hopkins. (Here's the link.)
- What is my highest Gleason score? How many cores were positive? What was the highest percent of cancer in any core?
- What is my stage, and risk level? (You should know your PSA – if you don’t, ask). How big is my prostate, and what is my prostate density?
- If stage is T3 or T4: How can surgery be a good option if only the prostate capsule is taken out, leaving the rest behind? Aren’t the side effects of adjuvant radiation worse than if I had radiation at the start? (he may not know this.)
Questions not to ask:
- Is my age a factor in whether active surveillance is right for me? (only you can decide whether you are willing to live more years with the side effects of treatment, or whether you prefer to be treated while younger when side effects are apt to be less - see this link)
- What treatments should I consider and which is the best for me? (this would be asking your doctor to be an expert in treatments outside of his specialty, and also to know which benefits and risks are most important to you – he doesn’t have time or inclination to be expert in all therapies, and he’s not a mind reader.)
- If I were your father, what would you recommend? (You don’t know how he feels about his father (lol), and more importantly, what he would feel most comfortable with is not necessarily what you would feel most comfortable with. This is your decision to make and live with – don’t give up your power!)