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As you cope with cancer and its treatment, you need to have honest, open talks with your doctors. You should feel free to ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Be sure to add your own questions as you think of them.

  • Would you please write down the exact type of cancer I have?
  • Do you think the cancer has spread beyond my bladder?
  • What is the stage and grade of my cancer? What does that mean?
  • Do I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Do I need to see other doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Should I get a second opinion? Can you recommend a doctor or cancer center?
  • What are my treatment choices? What do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment?
  • What are the chances my cancer can be cured?
  • How soon do I need to start treatment?
  • What should I do to prepare for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • What are the risks or side effects of treatment? How long are they likely to last?
  • How likely is it that the cancer will come back? Is there anything I can do to lower this risk?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

Keep in mind that doctors are not the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers to some of your questions. You can find more information about communicating with your health care team in our document Talking With Your Doctor.

Last Medical Review: 06/23/2014
Last Revised: 01/21/2016