What should you ask your doctor about penile cancer?
It is important to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. You should feel free to ask any question that's on your mind, no matter how small it might seem. Nurses, social workers, and other members of the treatment team may also be able to answer many of your questions. Here are some questions you might want to ask:
- What kind of penile cancer do I have?
- Has my cancer spread (metastasized)?
- What is the stage of my cancer and what does that mean?
- Do I need more tests before we can decide on treatment?
- How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
- What are my treatment choices?
- What do you recommend and why?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
- Will I need surgery on my groin lymph nodes?
- How long will it take me to recover from treatment?
- When can I go back to work after treatment?
- What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest?
- How will treatment affect my ability to urinate or to have sex?
- What are the chances that my cancer will recur? What would we do if that happens?
In addition to these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you may want to ask about second opinions or about clinical trials.
After treatment, you should report any new symptoms to your doctor right away so that cancer recurrence or side effects of therapy can be treated as effectively as possible.
The doctors, nurses, oncology social workers, and other members of the health care team can help refer you to other organizations for help. Your local American Cancer Society has information and programs that may help meet your medical, emotional, social, and financial needs. Some of these are listed in the "Additional resources for penile cancer " section of this document.
Last Medical Review: 05/02/2012
Last Revised: 01/17/2013