Some of the following questions may be a starting point for helpful conversations with care team members. Others will probably come up over time. Be sure to keep a record of the questions and answers to review later.
Questions About the Cancer
- What stage is my cancer? What does that mean?
- Has my cancer spread outside the original site (metastasized)? If so, where?
Questions About Treatment
- What type of treatment do you recommend? Why?
- What are the risks and side effects associated with this type of treatment?
- Are there other treatment options for my cancer? How do they differ?
- Will I need more than one type of treatment?
- How soon do I need to start treatment?
- How will this treatment affect my quality of life?
- What are the survival statistics for my cancer stage and this treatment choice?
- What will happen if I postpone treatment or decide not to have it?
- Will I need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?
- How often do the treatments occur? How long will they last?
- What kind of follow-up will I need after my treatment is finished?
- Are there clinical trials in which I can participate? If so, how do I enroll?
Questions About Effects
- Will I need to limit my daily or recreational activities?
- Will I be able to work? If so, are there any restrictions?
- How should I expect to feel during and after treatment?
- If I am in pain and it is after hours, whom should I call for help?
- What side effects can I expect? Which effects should I inform my care team about immediately?
- Is there any special diet I should follow before, during, or after treatment?
- Who can I talk to about my emotional concerns?
- Are there others who have been through this process that can guide me?