Questions To Ask About Penile Cancer

It’s important to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. You should ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some you might want to ask:

  • What kind of penile cancer do I have?
  • How deep has the cancer grown into my penis? Has it spread to lymph nodes or other organs?
  • What is the stage of my cancer and what does that mean?
  • Do I need more tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Do I need to see any other types of doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What's the goal of treatment? To cure the cancer? Keep it under control?
  • 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?
  • Will treatment change how my penis looks or the size of my penis?
  • Will treatment affect how I urinate?
  • Will I be able to have sex or have children after treatment?
  • Will I need surgery on my groin lymph nodes?
  • Willl my insurance cover treatment? How much will I have to pay?
  • How long will it take me to recover from treatment?
  • When can I go back to my regular activities after treatment?
  • What are the risks or side effects to the treatments you suggest?
  • What are the chances that my cancer will come back after treatment? What would we do if that happens?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you may want to ask about getting a second opinion or about clinical trials that might be right for you.

Keep in mind 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 to some of your questions. You can find out more 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.

American Society of Clinical Oncology. Penile Cancer: Questions to Ask the Health Care Team. 8/2017. Accessed at www.cancer.net/cancer-types/penile-cancer/questions-ask-health-care-team on May 27, 2018.

Last Medical Review: June 25, 2018 Last Revised: June 25, 2018

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