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18 Essential Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Cancer Treatment

Questions About What Occurs Before Treatment

As you are starting to wrap your head around your cancer diagnosis, some of the initial questions you may want to ask your doctor will likely revolve around your treatment options. You have a diagnosis, so the next step is treating the cancer. Some of the questions to ask your doctor initially may include:
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the benefits and risks of each option?
  • Would surgery be an option? If so, what would that involve?
  • Which particular treatment would you recommend and why?
  • When do I need to start treatment?
These are general questions, and there may not be one simple answer. Your healthcare provider can go over all the possible treatment options that may be beneficial with your particular diagnosis. However, making a decision on which option to go with will be a personal choice.
Discussing your options with your family and loved ones can also help to give you some more insight on things you may not have even considered. Having those closest to you help you go over your options can help make your decision clearer.

Questions That May Come Up During Treatment

Once you decide on a treatment option that's right for you (or even before you decide), then you may want to ask about what to expect with that particular treatment. These questions include details about what will happen during your days of treatment and how long they will last. Specifically, you may want to ask your doctor:
  • Will I have to stay in the hospital? If so, how long?
  • How will I know if the treatment is working?
  • Will I need a specialist for my cancer treatment? If so, who would that include?
  • If I have chemotherapy or radiation therapy, where do I need to go?
  • How is radiation therapy administered?
  • How is chemotherapy administered?
  • How many radiation or chemotherapy treatment sessions will I need?
Your healthcare provider can give you answers to these particular questions in more detail. There is no one right answer for everyone. The answers to these questions will be individualized based on your particular cancer, the stage it is in, and your own personal wishes.
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