What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Bile Duct Cancer?

It is important to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how minor they might seem. For example, consider these questions:

  • Where exactly is my cancer?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the bile ducts?
  • What is the stage of my cancer, and what does that mean to me?
  • Will I need other tests before we consider treatment options?
  • Do I need to see any other kinds of doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • What treatment choices do I have?
  • Can my cancer be removed with surgery?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What is the goal of treatment?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest?
  • How quickly do we need to decide on treatment?
  • What should I 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 my daily activities?
  • What are the chances my cancer can be cured with these treatment plans?
  • What would my options be if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
  • What type of follow-up might I need after treatment?
  • Where can I go for information and support?

Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want to ask about clinical trials for which you may qualify.

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 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: November 1, 2014 Last Revised: January 20, 2016

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