After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families

Finding out you have cancer brings many changes for you and your loved ones. You probably have lots of questions:

  • Can it be cured?
  • What are the best treatment options?
  • Will treatment hurt or make me feel bad?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • Will I have to stay in a hospital?
  • Will I be able to keep my job?
  • How much will cancer treatment cost?

Here, we answer many questions about cancer and cancer treatment. We also tell you what you can expect from the people and services that are there to help you cope with cancer. To help you prepare for visits with your health care team, we offer ideas for questions you may want to ask. We hope this information will help you and your family as you work through your fears and concerns about cancer and cancer treatment.

Please keep in mind that this is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor or nurse. Talking with them is the best way to understand what’s going on with your body and how treatment will work.

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: February 20, 2015 Last Revised: February 20, 2015

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