Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Find Out You Have Cancer

Patient Education Facilitator
Friday, October 9, 2015 - 9:31am

If you or someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, you probably have a lot of questions. However, it’s easy to get tongue-tied while processing the overflow of new information.

To help you maintain open and honest communication with your cancer care team, we’ve compiled a list of important questions to ask your doctor.

These questions will help you better understand your diagnosis and what to expect going forward.

Questions About the Cancer

  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • Can you explain my test results to me?
  • Will I need more tests before treatment begins?
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Has my cancer spread to other areas of my body?
  • What is my chance of recovery?
  • How will cancer and its treatment affect my body?

Questions About Finding a Specialist and Getting a Second Opinion

  • How do I decide where to go for treatment?
  • Will I need a specialist(s) for my cancer treatment?
  • Will you help me find a doctor to give me another opinion on the best treatment plan for me?

Questions About Clinical Trials

  • Would a clinical trial (research study) be right for me?
  • How do I find out about studies for my type and stage of cancer?

Questions About Lifestyle, Finances, and Resources

  • How will my daily activities, such as work or school, change?
  • How can I get help if I feel anxious or upset about having cancer? If I need help coping with family responsibilities?
  • What costs will my insurance cover? Who can answer my questions about how to pay for treatment?
  • How can I get help with financial and legal issues (for example, getting financial assistance, preparing a will or an advance directive)?
  • How can I get help with my spiritual needs?
  • Can you suggest a support group that might help me?