Questions to ask your doctor when you have been diagnosed with cancer

It’s a good idea to bring these questions (and any others you have) along with you when you see your doctor to discuss your diagnosis:

  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • Has it spread to other areas of my body?
  • Will I need more tests before treatment begins? If so, which ones?
  • Will I need a specialist for my cancer treatment?
  • Will you help me find a doctor for a second opinion on the best treatment plan?
  • How serious is my cancer?
  • What are my chances of survival?
  • What are the ways to treat my type and stage of cancer?
  • What are the benefits and risks of each of these treatments?
  • What treatment do you recommend? Why do you think it is best for me?
  • When will I need to start treatment?
  • What is my chance of recovery with this treatment?
  • How will we know if the treatment is working?
  • Would a clinical trial (research study) be right for me?
  • How do I find out about studies for my type and stage of cancer?
  • Where will I go for treatment and how is it given?
  • Will I need to be in the hospital for treatment? If so, for how long?
  • How many treatment sessions will I have and how long will each take?
  • Should/could a family member or friend come with me to my treatment sessions?
  • What side effects may occur during or between my treatment sessions?
  • Are there any lasting effects of the treatment?
  • How can I prevent or treat side effects?
  • Are there any side effects that I should call you about right away?
  • Could any medicines or dietary supplements I am taking change the way that cancer treatment works?

Source: National Cancer Institute