About your cancer

  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Is there anything special about my cancer that makes my prognosis better or worse?
  • Do you commonly treat my form of cancer?
  • Can the cancer be cured or controlled?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What risks or potential side effects are associated with each treatment?
  • What research studies (“clinical trials”) are available?
  • How long will I receive treatment, how often, and where?
  • How will it be given?
  • How and when will I know if the treatment is working?
  • What are the names of all the drugs I will be taking?
  • Are there any resources or Web sites you recommend for more information?

Tests

  • What types of lab tests will I need?
  • Can my cancer be followed by a blood test (tumor marker)?
  • Will I need x-rays, CT scans, PET/CT scans or MRIs and if so, when?
  • Can you explain the results of my complete blood count (CBC)?
  • Are there tests for the genetic make-up of my cancer?
  • Will I benefit from having my cancer evaluated for its genetic make-up?

Side Effects of Treatment

  • What possible side effects should I prepare for (for example hair loss, neuropathy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic drug reactions or low blood counts) and when might they start?
  • Will they get better or worse as my treatment goes along?
  • How can I prepare for them or lessen their impact?
  • Are there treatments that can help relieve the side effects? What are they? Do you usually recommend or prescribe them?
  • Is there a certain diet or supplement that is recommended while receiving chemotherapy?
  • Will I require blood transfusions? Why?
  • How can I best monitor myself for complications related to either my disease or my treatment?
  • Will my type of chemotherapy put me at risk for a low white blood cell count and infection?
  • Can I help protect myself against infection right from the start of chemotherapy, instead of waiting until problems develop?
  • Am I at special risk for infection?
  • How long will I be at risk for infection?
  • What should I do if I have a fever?

Daily Activities

  • How will my cancer treatment affect my usual activities?
  • Will I be able to work?
  • Will I need to stay in the hospital?
  • Will I need someone to help me at home?
  • Will I need help taking care of my kids?\
  • Are there any activities I should avoid during my chemotherapy?

What to Expect After Treatment

  • What kind of lab tests will I need?
  • How frequently should I get those lab tests?
  • What types of x-rays and scans will I need?
  • How often do I need to come in for checkups?
  • When will you know if I am cured?
  • What happens if my disease comes back?