Sometimes two different types of treatment may be equally effective in treating a cancer, but have different side effects.
Doctors and other healthcare professionals can give you information about different treatments and how each may affect your day-to-day life and ability to work.
The final decision about which treatment to have, or whether to have treatment at all, is yours. It can help to find out as much as possible about the type of cancer you have and the treatments that are planned. You can then discuss the benefits and possible risks with your doctors and decide on the treatment that best suits your situation. You can also ask for a second opinion.
Treatment can affect people differently. So it’s difficult to predict exactly how treatment will affect you. For example, if two people are given the same dose of the same chemotherapy drug, one may have few side effects and be able to carry on working, while the other person may have severe side effects and be unable to work for a while.
Questions you may want to ask your healthcare team
- What treatments are available for my type of cancer?
- How effective is the treatment likely to be?
- What are the benefits and disadvantages of the treatment?
- How long will each treatment take and what’s involved?
- Will I be admitted to hospital and, if so, for how long?
- What are the possible side effects of treatment?
- What can be done about the side effects of treatment?
- How much is the treatment likely to affect my daily life?
- How will the treatment affect my physical ability to do my job? For example, will I be able to drive/work shifts/travel by plane?
- Will I still be able to work while I’m having the treatment?
- What will happen if I don’t want to have any treatment?
- Are there any treatment options that will make it easier for me to work? For example, can I be treated near my place of work?