When Seeing Your Doctor

Many people with cancer want to learn all they can about their disease and their treatment choices so that they can take an active part in decisions about their medical care. Often, it helps to make a list of questions to ask their doctor. Some questions a patient may want to ask their doctor.

General Questions:

  1. What is the name of my cancer?
  2. Which part of my body is affected?
  3. Is it slow growing?
  4. Is it possible to completely cure my cancer?

About Tests:

  1. Why do I need these tests?
  2. What will this investigation involve?
  3. How accurate is this test?
  4. Is there any risk to the test?
  5. Will the result of this test make any difference to the treatment you provide?
  6. What are the results of the test I already had?

About Treatment:

  1. What treatments are available for my type of cancer?
  2. What is the aim of each treatment
    - is it to cure?
    - is it for temporary control?
    - is it to reduce symptoms?
  3. What is the chance of the treatment working?
  4. How long before I know if the treatment is working?
  5. How long will the treatment last?
  6. What are the possible side effects of the treatment?
  7. Can the side effects be prevented or controlled?
  8. Are the side effects temporary or permanent?
  9. How is the treatment given?
  10. How does the treatment work?
  11. Will I receive treatment as an outpatient or be admitted to hospital?
  12. How much will the treatment cost?
  13. What if this treatment does not work?

About Participating in Clinical Trials:

  1. Would a clinical trial or investigational treatment be appropriate for me?
  2. What benefit is there for me?
  3. What are the risks for me?
  4. Why are these studies important?
  5. What are the goals of the study?
  6. Do I have the right to refuse?
  7. Can I withdraw from the clinical trial anytime?