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As you cope with cancer and its treatment, you need to have honest, open talks with your doctor. You should 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. Be sure to add your own questions as you think of them. Nurses, social workers, and other members of the treatment team may also be able to answer many of your questions.

  • Would you please write down the exact kind of cancer I have?
  • Has the cancer spread beyond the place where it started?
  • What is the stage of the cancer and what does that mean for me?
  • Is my cancer likely to be resectable (can it be removed by surgery)?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • Are there other doctors I need to see?
  • How often have you treated this type of cancer?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • What treatment choices do I have?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What is the goal of 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 is the goal of this treatment?
  • What are the risks or side effects of the treatment?
  • How will treatment affect my daily life?
  • What type of follow-up might I need after treatment?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?

Add your own questions below:


Last Medical Review: 10/02/2012
Last Revised: 10/02/2012