Colorectal Cancer

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

What should you ask your doctor about colorectal cancer?

It is important to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, so that you can make informed treatment and life decisions. For instance, consider these questions:

  • Where is my cancer located?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond where it started?
  • What is the stage (extent) of my cancer and what does that mean?
  • Will I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest? Are there things I can do to reduce these side effects?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What are the chances my cancer will recur (come back) with these treatment plans?
  • What will we do if the treatment doesn't work or if the cancer recurs?
  • What type of follow-up might I need after treatment?

In addition to these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about clinical trials for which you may qualify.


Last Medical Review: 10/15/2014
Last Revised: 11/01/2014