Thyroid Cancer Overview

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

Some questions to ask your doctor about thyroid cancer

As you cope with cancer and cancer treatment, you need to have honest, open talks with your doctor. You should feel free to ask any question, 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.

  • What kind of thyroid cancer do I have?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the thyroid gland?
  • What is the stage of my thyroid cancer, and what does this mean?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we decide on treatment?
  • Is this form of thyroid cancer hereditary? Should my family be tested?
  • Are there other doctors I need to see?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • How much surgery do I need? Should I get other treatments as well?
  • What other treatment choices do I have?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • What are the risks and possible side effects of treatment?
  • Will I need to take thyroid hormone for the rest of my life?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
  • When can I go back to my normal activities after treatment?
  • Will this treatment affect my ability to have children? Do I need to avoid pregnancy for a while?
  • What are the chances that my cancer will come back after treatment?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer recurs?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

No doubt you will have other questions. Be sure to write them down so that you remember to ask them during each visit with your cancer care team. For example, you might want to ask about getting a second opinion or about clinical trials for your cancer.


Last Medical Review: 02/27/2014
Last Revised: 02/27/2014