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If You Are Diagnosed with Cancer

Questions for your healthcare provider

Here is a list of questions to ask your healthcare provider:

  • What kind of cancer do I have?

  • Where is it?

  • Has it spread beyond where it started?

  • What's the stage of the cancer? What does that mean?

  • Is this cancer linked to genetic (inherited) factors? Are my family members at risk?

  • What have the tests shown?

  • Do I need any more lab tests or imaging scans?

  • What is the purpose of each test or scan?

  • How will this information help decide what types of other tests or treatments I should have?

  • What are my treatment choices?

  • What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?

  • What are the risks of each treatment?

  • What are the side effects of each treatment?

  • What do you advise and why?

  • Are there new treatments or clinical trials that I should consider?

  • How long will my treatment last?

  • What are my chances of being cured?

  • How soon do I need to start treatment?

  • How will we know if treatment is working?

  • How will each treatment affect my daily life? My sex life? My ability to have children?

  • Will treatment affect how I look? How my body works?

  • Will I be able to work during treatment?

  • What are the chances that the cancer will come back again?

  • Based on what you know about my cancer, how long do you think I'll survive?

  • Is there anything else I need to know?

  • Where can I get more information?

  • Will my insurance cover treatment? How much will I have to pay?

  • What can I do to get ready for treatment?

  • How will I reach you after hours, or during weekends and holidays?

  • What support services are available to me or my family members?

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2023
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