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Some patients don’t ask questions because they see that their doctors are very busy. It’s always okay to ask questions. If your doctor gives you answers you don’t understand, it’s also okay to say you didn’t understand and ask them to explain again, maybe in a different way. These are a list of questions you might find helpful:
- What type of cancer do I have?
- Has the cancer spread?
- What parts of my body will be affected?
- How fast is my cancer growing?
- Is my cancer curable?
- If not curable, how long do people with my type of cancer live?
Questions About Tests and Treatment
- What tests do you recommend and why?
- Will the test results make a difference to the decision about what type of treatment I have?
- What treatment do you recommend and why?
- Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
- How long will treatment take?
- Will I have to stay in hospital?
- How much will treatment cost?
- Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?
- What if this treatment does not work?
- How long do I have to make the decision about which treatment I prefer?
- What are the possible side-effects of treatment?
- Can these side-effects be prevented?
- Are they temporary or permanent?
- Are there things I could do to help manage these side-effects?
- Will I be able to work during treatment?
- Who can help me with my finances?
- Can I drive?
- What support is there available to help me in my cancer journey?
- What is my plan of care now?
- How frequently will I need check-ups?
- What symptoms or side effects should I expect?
- How should I manage these?
- How will I know if my treatment has worked?
- What should I do if I think my cancer has progressed?
(if you are printing this page to take to your doctor you can use this space to note any other questions you may have)
Additional questions can be found in the individual Understanding Cancer booklets from the Cancer Council.
These questions are adapted from resources kindly shared by Cancer Council Tasmania and NSW.