What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Vulvar Cancer?

It is important for you to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how trivial you might think they are. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What type of vulvar cancer do I have?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the vulva?
  • What is the stage of my cancer and what does that mean?
  • What treatments are appropriate for me? What do you recommend? Why?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • What risks or side effects should I expect?
  • Can anything be done to minimize my risks?
  • Will I be able to have children after my treatment?
  • Will I be able to enjoy normal sexual relations?
  • What are the chances my cancer will recur (come back) with the treatments we have discussed?
  • Should I follow a special diet?
  • What is my expected prognosis, based on my cancer as you view it?
  • What do I tell my children, husband, parents, and other family members?

In addition to these sample questions, be sure to write down some questions of your own. For instance, you might want specific information about anticipated recovery times so that you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about second opinions or about clinical trials for which you may qualify.

Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers to some of your questions. You can find more information about communicating 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: July 2, 2014 Last Revised: February 16, 2016

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