What should you ask your child’s doctor about neuroblastoma?
It is important to have open, honest discussions with your child’s cancer care team. You should feel free to ask any question that's on your mind, no matter how minor it might seem. Among the questions you might want to ask are:
- What is the stage (extent) of the neuroblastoma?
- Which risk group does my child’s cancer fall into? What does this mean?
- What else can you tell about the cancer based on the lab tests?
- Are there any other tests that need to be done before we discuss treatment?
- How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
- What other doctors will we need to see?
- What treatment choices do we have?
- Does one type of treatment increase the chance of cure more than another?
- Are there any clinical trials we should consider?
- Which treatment do you recommend? Why?
- What should we do to be ready for treatment?
- How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
- How will treatment affect our daily activities?
- How long will it take my child to recover from treatment?
- What are the possible side effects from treatment? What can be done for them?
- Which side effects start shortly after treatment and which ones might develop later on?
- How might treatment affect my child's ability to learn, grow, and develop?
- Will treatment affect my child’s ability to have children someday? Can we do anything about this?
- Will my child have a higher long-term risk of other cancers?
- What are the chances that the cancer will recur? What would we do if this happens?
- What type of follow-up will my child need after treatment?
- Is there a support group for families who are coping with neuroblastoma or childhood cancer?
Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want to ask about getting a second opinion. 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 you seek.
Last Medical Review: 10/29/2012
Last Revised: 01/17/2013