A cancer diagnosis—whether for you, a family member, or a friend—can be stressful and confusing. You will have a lot of questions.
Questions You May Want to Ask Your Nurse or Physician:
About Your Cancer
- Do you typically treat patients with my diagnosis?
- What stage is my cancer?
- Is there anything unique about my cancer that makes my prognosis better or worse?
- Should I get a second opinion?
About Cancer Treatment
- What is the goal of treatment - to cure my cancer or stop it from growing?
- What are my treatment options?
- What risks or potential side effects are associated with each treatment?
- Are there any clinical trials that are right for me?
- How long will I receive treatment, how often, and where?
- How will it be given?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- How might a disruption in my chemotherapy dose or timing affect my results?
- How and when will I be able to tell whether the treatment is working?
- What are the names of all the drugs I will be taking?
- Can I talk with another of your patients who has received this treatment?
- Are there any resources or Web sites you recommend for more information?
- What types of tests will I need?
- Can you explain the results of my complete blood count (CBC)?
- Are there tests for the genetic make–up of my cancer?
- Will I benefit from having my cancer evaluated for its genetic make–up?
About Side Effects of Treatment
- What possible side effects should I prepare for?
- When might they start?
- How can I prepare for them or lessen their impact?
- Are there treatments that can help relieve the side effects?
- How can I best monitor myself for complications related to either my disease or my treatment?
About Protecting Against Infection
- Will my type of chemotherapy put me at risk for a low white blood cell count and infection?
- What are the signs of infection?
- How serious is an infection?
- How are infections treated?
About Daily Activities
- How will my cancer treatment affect my usual activities?
- Will I be able to work?
- Will I need to stay in the hospital?
- Will I need someone to help me at home?
- Will I need help taking care of my kids?
- Are there any activities I should avoid during my chemotherapy?
About What to Expect After Treatment
- What happens after I complete my treatment?
- How can I best continue to monitor myself for complications related to either my disease or my treatment?
- What kind of tests will I need and how frequently?
- How often do I need to come in for checkups?
- When will you know if I am cured?
- What happens if my disease comes back?