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When your health care team talks about your cancer diagnosis and treatment, ask questions about anything you don’t understand. This fact sheet lists ideas for questions you can ask.

Questions to Ask About Your Diagnosis

  • What is my cancer diagnosis?

  • Where is my cancer located?

  • What stage is my cancer and what are the different types of stages?

  • What type of testing is needed for my specific diagnosis?

  • Have you treated other patients with my type of cancer?

  • What are my treatment options?

  • What is the recommended treatment?

  • Should I consider participating in a clinical trial?

  • Should I get a second opinion?

  • Are there sources of reliable information that can help?

  • What’s the best time to call you if I have a question?

Questions About Your Treatment

  • What does this treatment do?

  • What are the possible risks of this treatment?

  • How long does this kind of treatment usually last?

  • Will I need to go to the doctor’s office or hospital to get my treatment, or will I get medication to take at home?

  • How often will I receive treatment? And for how long?

  • Will I have scans, blood work or other kinds of tests during treatment?

  • If something unexpected comes up, who should I call?

  • What are the specific roles of my health care team?

  • How much will my treatment cost?

  • Who can I talk to about financial assistance?

  • Who can I talk to about insurance questions

Questions About Side Effects

  • What are the possible side effects of my treatment?

  • Will my treatment affect my appetite, ability to exercise or anything else?

  • Will my appearance change – for example, will I lose my hair?

  • What will be energy levels be like during treatment?

  • Will I be able to continue working while undergoing treatment?

  • Will this treatment affect my fertility?

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Last updated Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The information presented in this publication is provided for your general information only. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are aware of your specific situation. We encourage you to take information and questions back to your individual health care provider as a way of creating a dialogue and partnership about your cancer and your treatment.

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