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Cancer Questions: Questions to Ask About Your Cancer Treatment

The more you know about your cancer treatment, the more confident you'll feel. So when you meet with specialists, go in with specific cancer questions.

To give you a start, here are some questions about cancer treatment to ask your medical oncologist, surgeon, and radiation oncologist. Not every person will need all three types of cancer specialists. However, these cancer questions will help prepare you no matter your medical needs. Print them out before your next appointment with your cancer specialist.

10 Cancer Questions for Your Medical Oncologist About Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, or Immunotherapy

  1. Why are you recommending this treatment for me? Why is it preferable to others?
  2. What does this treatment do, exactly? How well does it usually work?
  3. What are the risks and side effects of this treatment?
  4. How long will I need this treatment?
  5. Where will I go to get this treatment?
  6. What should I expect from the treatment itself? How long will it take?
  7. Should I bring a friend or family member with me to treatment?
  8. After treatment, will I need time to recover? Will I be able to drive myself home? Will I need to miss work?
  9. Should I make any changes to my diet or lifestyle during or after treatment?
  10. How can I reach you if I have concerns or further questions?

10 Cancer Questions for Your Surgeon or Surgical Oncologist

  1. Why are you recommending this surgery for me? Why is this treatment preferable to others?
  2. What will this surgery accomplish, exactly? How well does it usually work?
  3. What are the risks of this operation?
  4. How should I prepare for this surgery?
  5. What will happen during the procedure?
  6. How long will I need to stay in the hospital?
  7. What will my recovery be like?
  8. What complications should I look for?
  9. When can I go back to work?
  10. How can I reach you if I have concerns or further questions?

10 Cancer Questions to Ask the Radiation Oncologist

  1. Why are you recommending this treatment for me? Why is it preferable to others?
  2. What does this radiation therapy do, exactly? How well does it usually work?
  3. What are the risks and side effects of radiation therapy?
  4. How many weeks will I need this treatment?
  5. Where will I go to get this treatment?
  6. What should I expect from the treatment itself? What will happen? How long will it last?
  7. Should I bring a friend or family member with me to treatment?
  8. After treatment, will I need time to recover? Will I need to miss work?
  9. Should I make any changes to my diet or lifestyle during or after treatment?
  10. How can I reach you if I have concerns or further questions?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 11, 2014

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