Chemotherapy Principles

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Questions to ask about chemotherapy

Your doctor will recommend a chemotherapy plan based on your medical history, type of cancer, extent of cancer, current state of health, and the current research.

You may want to ask your doctor or nurses the following questions about your chemotherapy treatment plan:

  • What is the goal of this course of chemotherapy? Cure? Control? To ease symptoms?
  • What chemotherapy drugs will I be given?
  • How will I take these drugs (by mouth, as a shot, or through a vein)?
  • How often will I need to get chemotherapy?
  • How long will I be getting chemotherapy treatments?
  • Where will I get my treatments?
  • Are there ways to help me prepare for treatment and decrease the chance of side effects?
  • How will we know if treatment’s working?
  • What side effects might I have?
  • What activities should I do or not do to take care of myself?
  • Can I keep working (or going to school) during treatment?
  • What long-term effects might I expect?
  • What problems should I call you about, even at night or on the weekends?
  • How can I contact you after office hours if I have problems that you need to know about?
  • How much will chemotherapy cost? Will it be covered by my insurance or health plan?
  • If the insurance company requests a second opinion, or if I would like one, how do I go about doing that?

Last Medical Review: 02/07/2013
Last Revised: 02/07/2013