It’s important to have honest, open talks with your doctor. Feel free to ask any question that's on your mind, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask.
- Would you please write down the exact type of leukemia I have?
- Are there any specific factors that might affect my outlook?
- Do I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
- Do I need to see any other doctors?
- How much experience do you and this medical center have treating this type of cancer?
- Should I get a second opinion?
- What are my treatment choices?
- Which treatment do you recommend, and why?
- What are the risks and side effects of treatment?
- What can 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 can I do to help reduce the side effects I may have from the chemo?
- Should we think about a stem cell transplant? If so, when?
- What is the outlook for my survival?
- What will we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the leukemia comes back?
- What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
Be sure to write down any questions you have that are not on this list. For instance, you might want to know more about recovery times. Or you might want to ask about clinical trials. Taking another person and/or a tape recorder to your appointments can be helpful.
Keep in mind, too, that doctors aren’t the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, might be able to answer some of your questions. You can find out more about speaking with your health care team in Talking With Your Doctor.
Last Revised: 02/22/2016