It’s important to have honest, open discussions with your child’s cancer care team. You should ask any questions that are on your mind, no matter how small they may seem. Below are some questions to consider:
- What kind of kidney cancer does my child have? Is it a Wilms tumor?
- Is the histology of the tumor favorable or unfavorable?
- What is the stage of my child’s cancer, and what does that mean?
- Will we need to have other tests 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 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 of the suggested treatments?
- Which side effects start shortly after treatment and which ones might develop later on?
- Will treatment affect my child’s ability to grow and develop?
- Could treatment affect my child’s ability to have children later on?
- Will my child have a higher long-term risk of kidney problems or other cancers?
- How soon do we need to start treatment?
- 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 lives (school, work, etc.)?
- Based on what you’ve learned about my child’s cancer, what is the outlook for cure?
- 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?
Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down any others you might have. For instance, you might want to ask about getting a second opinion, or you may want more information about recovery times so you can plan your school or work schedules. 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.
Also keep in mind that doctors are not the only ones who can provide you with information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers to some of your questions. You can find out more about speaking with your health care team in Talking With Your Doctor.
Last Revised: 02/16/2016