Questions you may wish to ask

When you first learn you have cancer you may have many questions. We suggest you think about the questions you would like to have answered and what you do not want to be told before you visit your cancer doctor. You may want to have a support person with you when you visit. Here is a list of questions you may wish to ask.

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of radiation treatment for me?
  • Are there any other treatments I can have instead?
  • Will radiation treatment cure me or keep my cancer under control?
  • What difference would it make if I waited?
  • Can I have a second opinion?
  • Can I have radiation treatment at my local hospital or will I have to travel?
  • If I need to travel away from home for my treatment appointments, what financial support and accommodation are available?
  • How long will my treatment last and how often will I have to have it?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • Which part of my body will be treated?
  • How long will each treatment take?
  • Will I be able to carry on with my normal life when I am not at the hospital?
  • If I can have the treatment privately, how much will it cost?
  • What side effects can I expect?
  • Can the side effects be managed?
  • How long after my treatment ends will it take for the side effects to go?
  • Will there be any permanent side effects?
  • Will I still be able to have children?
  • Should I keep taking my usual medicines?
  • Do I need a special diet?
  • What is the waiting list for this treatment?
  • If I have to wait to have treatment, will it affect my health?
  • Will the treatment affect my sex life?

If there are answers you do not understand, it is okay to say, for example:

  • would you explain that again please?
  • I am not sure what you mean by...?
  • would you draw a picture, or write it down please?

Call the Cancer Information Helpline 0800 CANCER (226 237) for more information about specific types of cancer and treatments.