Cancer Questions Checklist
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?
- 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?
- 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?