What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Hodgkin Disease?

As you cope with Hodgkin disease and the process of treatment, you need to have honest, open discussions with the cancer care team. You should ask any question, no matter how minor it might seem. Among the questions you might want to ask are:

  • What type of Hodgkin disease is it?
  • What is the stage (extent) of the cancer? What does this mean?
  • What tests need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • Are there other doctors I (we) need to see?
  • How much experience do you have treating Hodgkin disease?
  • Should we get a second opinion before starting treatment? Can you suggest someone?
  • What are our treatment choices? Which do you recommend? Why?
  • Does one type of treatment reduce the risk of the cancer coming back more than another?
  • What short-term side effects can be expected from treatment? What can be done about these side effects?
  • What are the possible long-term side effects?
  • Will the treatment affect my (my child’s) ability to have children? Can we do anything about this?
  • How soon do we need to start treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready (or get my child ready) for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • How will treatment affect my (child’s) daily activities?
  • What are the chances that the cancer will come back? How will we know if the cancer has come back? What should we look out for?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
  • What type of follow-up is needed after treatment?

You will no doubt have other questions. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so that you can plan work or school schedules. Or you might want to ask about clinical trials.

Be sure to write your questions down so that you remember to ask them during visits with your cancer care team. 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 communicating with your health care team in our document Talking With Your Doctor.

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: July 10, 2014 Last Revised: May 23, 2016

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