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As you cope with your child's cancer and cancer treatment, you need to have honest, open discussions with the 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.

  • What kind of kidney cancer does my child have? Is it a Wilms tumor?
  • Is the histology (appearance) favorable or unfavorable?
  • What is the stage of the cancer and what does that mean?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • What other doctors will we need to see?
  • What treatment options do we have?
  • What clinical trials are options for my child?
  • What do you advise and why?
  • What are the short-term risks or side effects of treatment?
  • What are the likely long-term effects of treatment? Could it make my child unable to have children?
  • 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?
  • Based on what you've learned about the cancer, what is the outlook for a cure?
  • What are the chances of the cancer coming back with these treatment plans?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn't work or if the cancer comes back?
  • What type of follow-up will my child need after treatment?
  • Does my child have a higher long-term risk of other cancers?

Add your own questions below. You might want to ask about health insurance coverage, getting a second opinion, or you may want more information about recovery times so you can plan your child's school schedule. You might also want to ask about nearby or online support groups, where you may be able to get in touch with other families who have been through this.

Last Medical Review: 08/01/2012
Last Revised: 08/01/2012