Questions you may wish to ask

The following list has questions you may want to ask your cancer doctor at appointments. We suggest you work out which questions are most important for you to get answers to.

It’s easy to forget the questions you want to ask when you see your cancer doctor or nurse, so write them down as you think of them and take your list with you to your appointment:

  1. What type of cancer do I have?
  2. How extensive is my cancer? What stage is it?
  3. What treatment do you advise for my cancer and why?
  4. Are there other treatment choices for me?
  5. What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
  6. How long will the treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
  7. If I need further treatment, what will it be like and when will it begin?
  8. How much will it cost if I decide to be treated privately?
  9. How frequent will my check-ups be and what will they involve?
  10. Will I be able to continue working? If not, when will I be able to return to work?
  11. When can I drive again?
  12. Will the treatment affect my sexual relationships?
  13. Will the treatment affect my fertility?
  14. Will I be affected by incontinence?
  15. If I choose not to have treatment either now or in the future, what services are available to help me?
  16. Are there any problems I should watch out for?
  17. I would like to have a second opinion. Can you refer me to someone else?
  18. Is my cancer hereditary?
  19. What is the chance that the cancer can come back after the treatment(s) offered?
  20. What can I do for myself to improve my outcome?

If there are answers you do not understand, feel comfortable to say:

  • "Can you explain that again?"
  • "I am not sure what you mean by …"
  • "Would you draw a diagram, or write it down?"

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