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HOW DO YOU GET AN ACTIVE ROLE IN YOUR TREATMENT?

Some people may want to talk to people with similar illnesses and treatments. Please remember that each person's experience is unique. Ask your doctor and check the information you hear from other people or read on the internet. It can be very different from your situation. Below are suggestions on how to access important information and make informed choices:


Learn about your illness. Ask for written information.


Find out your treatment options. Find out if they are transferring all available options. You can see a list of questions you will ask the doctor about your treatment options on page 18.


Organize your information. Keep a record of your conversations with names and phone numbers. Record important words and definitions. Ask your family and friends for help to collect and organize information.


Record questions and answers, or take a friend, family member with you and take notes. Ask your doctor for permission to record the speech. Do not rely on your memory. Repeat to your doctor to make sure you understand.


Ask your doctor to describe all treatment options, each with risks and benefits. Ask about the success rate of the proposed treatment. Ask what will happen if you don't get treatment. Ask your doctor how many people are treating the same as your disease.


If there are situations where you disagree with the doctor, tell him. Give your doctor a chance to solve the problem with you. Openly speaking will give everyone a chance to find the right solution.


If you wish, get a second or third opinion. You have the right to refuse any treatment and get the opinion of other doctors. Find out if the second opinion is covered by the insurance company officers or notify your insurance company when you want to change your doctor or hospital.


Find out the benefits of your insurance. Talk directly to the insurance company representative or ask your employer for this. Your insurance may only cover certain hospitals, doctors or treatments. Learn this as early as possible to help you understand your options. See page 22 for a list of questions to ask the insurance company representative.


If you didn't find the answers right away, keep asking. There are hospital social workers and accountants who will help you find answers about your rights and insurance.


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