Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

What should you ask your doctor about laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer?

It is important to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how minor they might seem. For instance, consider these questions:

  • Where is my cancer located?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond where it started?
  • What is the stage of my cancer, and what does that mean?
  • Do I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Are there other doctors I need to see?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • What treatment choices do I have?
  • Are you aware of any clinical trials I might be eligible for?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What is the goal of the treatment?
  • What are the chances my cancer can be cured with treatment?
  • How quickly do we need to decide on treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
  • What risks or side effects that I should expect? How long are they likely to last?
  • How will this treatment affect my voice? If my larynx is removed, what are the options for restoring my voice?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What can we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer recurs?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
  • Where can I find more information and support?

Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so that you can plan your work or activity schedule. Or you may want to ask about getting a second opinion.


Last Medical Review: 04/08/2014
Last Revised: 04/17/2014