It’s important to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. Feel free to ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. For instance, consider asking these questions:
- What kind of kidney cancer do I have?
- What is the stage of my cancer and 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?
- What treatment choices do I have? What do you recommend? Why?
- Should I get a second opinion? Can you recommend a doctor or cancer center?
- How soon do I need to start treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
- What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest?
- How long will it take me to recover from treatment?
- What are the chances of my cancer coming back after treatment? What will we do if that happens?
- What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
- Are there any clinical trials I should think about?
Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. Keep in mind, too, 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 your questions. You can find more information about communicating with your health care team in Talking With Your Doctor.
Last Revised: 02/10/2016