Questions to Ask the Doctor
One of your biggest allies in battling cancer is your oncologist. Questions are your primary resource to gain a better understanding of your disease and enhance your quality of care. Well-thought-out questions can help you get the most out of your appointments and can make all the difference. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Where is the tumor located?
- What diagnostic tests do I need? What do they involve?
- Why did I get this cancer?
- What is the HPV virus and how did I get exposed to it? Can I transmit the virus to others?
- Can you explain my pathology report and test results to me?
- What is the stage of the disease? What is the prognosis?
- What is the goal of treatment? What are my treatment options?
- What are the benefits of each treatment?
- What are the risks and side effects of each treatment?
- How will my condition be monitored during treatment?
- Do you have any advice on managing side effects? What can I do to take care of myself during treatment?
- What is treatment recovery like?
- Will my case be discussed in a multi-disciplinary planning conference before any irrevocable treatment decisions are made?
- How do you feel about clinical trials? Would you recommend that I participate in one?
- Will you help me arrange for second opinions if I feel unsure about a next step in my treatment program?
- What should I tell other people (kids, parents, siblings, friends, etc.) about my cancer when they ask?
- What will my follow-up appointment schedule be like?
Last reviewed on 3/9/2017 by:
- Jeffrey Myers, MD
Professor and Deputy Chairman
Department of Head and Neck Surgery
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center