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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

What should you ask your doctor about rhabdomyosarcoma?

It is important for you to understand as much as you can about your child's care. You should have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how minor they might seem. For instance, consider these questions:

  • What kind of rhabdomyosarcoma does my child have?
  • Has my child’s tumor spread beyond where it started?
  • Do we need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Which risk group does my child’s cancer fall into, and what does that mean?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • What other doctors will we need to see?
  • What are our treatment options?
  • Are there any clinical trials we might want to consider?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What are the risks and side effects to the suggested treatments?
  • Which side effects start shortly after treatment and which ones might develop later on?
  • How might treatment affect my child’s ability to grow and develop?
  • Could treatment affect my child’s ability to have children later on?
  • What should we 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 our daily activities (school, work, etc.)?
  • Based on what you’ve learned about my child’s cancer, what is the outlook for cure?
  • What will we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
  • What type of follow-up and rehabilitation will my child need after treatment?

You might have other questions as well. For example, you might want to:

  • Ask about getting a second opinion as to the best treatment option.
  • Find out if the treatment schedule can be arranged so that your child will miss as little school as possible.
  • Ask how to explain what is happening with your child so that his brothers, sisters, and friends can understand.
  • Ask about support groups that might help you benefit from the experience of other families who have been through this.

Last Medical Review: 08/13/2013
Last Revised: 08/13/2013