Liver Cancer

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

What should you ask your doctor about liver cancer?

As you cope with liver cancer and its treatment, we encourage you to have honest, open discussions with your doctor. Ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Be sure to add others as you think of them. Nurses, social workers, and other members of your treatment team might also be able to answer many of your questions.

  • What kind of liver cancer do I have? (Some types of liver cancer carry a better prognosis than others.)
  • Where in my liver is the cancer? Has it spread beyond my liver?
  • What is my cancer’s stage, and what does that mean?
  • How well is my liver functioning?
  • Will I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Will I need to see other doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • Can the cancer be removed with surgery?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What is the goal of the treatment?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest?
  • 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 with these treatment plans?
  • What will we do if the treatment doesn't work or if the cancer recurs?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

In addition to these sample questions, you might want to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want to ask about second opinions or about qualifying for clinical trials.


Last Medical Review: 11/18/2014
Last Revised: 12/05/2014