Decide on a Treatment Plan
My doctor told me I had
done one of the hardest but
most important things a
patient has to do: Face up to
the diagnosis and make
decisions. It feels good to be
where I am now.
—Bob, person with a
At this point, you have learned about your disease or condition and how it
can be treated or managed. Your information may have come from the
- Your doctor.
- Second opinions from one or more other doctors.
- Other people who are or were in the same situation as you.
- Information sources such as Web sites, health or medical libraries, and nonprofit groups.
Work With Your Doctor To Make Decisions
When you are ready to make treatment decisions, you and your doctor can
- Which treatments have been found to work well, or not work well, for your particular condition.
- The pros and cons of each treatment option.
Make sure that your doctor knows your preferences and feelings about the
different treatments—for example, whether you prefer medicine over surgery.
Once you and your doctor decide on one or more treatments that are right
for you, you can work together to develop a treatment plan. This plan will
include everything that will be done to treat or manage your disease or
condition—including what you need to do to make the plan work.
Remember, being an active member of your health care team helps to reduce
your chances of medical mistakes, and it helps you get high-quality care.
Take Another Deep Breath
You have taken important steps to cope with your diagnosis, make decisions,
and get on with your life. Remember two things:
- Call on others for support as you need it.
- Make use of evidence-based information for any future health decisions.