Questions to Ask About Nasopharyngeal Cancer

As you deal with nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) and the process of treatment, you need to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. Feel free to ask any question, no matter how minor it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask:

  • What kind of nasopharyngeal cancer do I have? Does this affect my options?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the nasopharynx?
  • What is the stage of my cancer? What does the stage mean in my case?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • Are there other doctors I need to see?
  • How much experience do you have treating NPC?
  • What treatment choices do I have?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What's the goal of the treatment?
  • What are the chances the cancer can be cured with treatment?
  • 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 involve? Where will it be done?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What risks and side effects can I expect? How long are they likely to last?
  • Is there anything I can do to help reduce side effects?
  • What are the chances that my cancer will come back (recur)?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer recurs?
  • What type of follow-up might I need after treatment?

Along with these sample questions, you might want to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so you can plan your work or activity schedule. Or you may want to ask about getting a second opinion or about clinical trials for which you may qualify. Keep in mind, too, that doctors aren't the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers you seek.

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: September 24, 2018 Last Revised: September 24, 2018

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