What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Adrenal Cancer?

As you deal with your adrenal cancer and the process of treatment, you should be able to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. Ask any questions, no matter how trivial they might seem. Among the questions you might want to ask are:

  • Do I have a benign or malignant adrenal gland tumor?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the adrenal gland?
  • Is my tumor secreting excessive amounts of hormones?
  • How will we treat the hormone excess?
  • Are the changes to my body permanent?
  • How will we treat the changes to my body?
  • Is this form of adrenal gland cancer hereditary? Does my adrenal gland cancer affect any other organs?
  • What other treatment choices do I have?
  • What side effects can I expect from my treatments?
  • What are the other risks of treatments?
  • How long will it take me to recover from treatment?
  • When can I go back to work after treatment?
  • What are the chances that my cancer will come back?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • Do I need a second opinion?
  • Based on what you've learned about my cancer, will it shorten my life?

You will no doubt have other questions about your personal situation. Be sure and write your questions down so you remember to ask them during each visit with your cancer care team. Keep in mind, too, 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 you seek. You can find more information about communicating with your health care team in our document The Doctor-Patient Relationship.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: March 19, 2014 Last Revised: February 25, 2015

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.