Essential Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What information do I need to help me make a decision about treatment?
  • What information do you use to make treatment recommendations for me?
  • What are your realistic goals for my treatment?
  • What are the chances that I can be cured?
  • What are my chances of a long-term response with good quality of life?
  • Are there clinical trials available to me?
  • How will I feel during treatment? Will I be able to work?
  • Take care of my family? Travel? Be around young children?
  • What help will I need in managing the side effects of treatment? When and for how long?
  • Should I consider a second opinion regarding my diagnosis and treatment?
  • Are there different approaches to treating my kind of cancer?
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Be Your Own Advocate

Ask Your Physician About Care Planning

“Will you give me a written or electronic plan that summarizes our discussion, my treatment choices, and advice for managing treatment and side effects?”
What is cancer care planning?
Learn about best practices, sample templates, and more.

Teamwork: Start a Conversation

For more about talking to your oncologist and other medical professionals, check out our publication “Teamwork: The Cancer Patient’s Guide to Talking With Your Doctor” online or order a free copy from our store.

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“The Essential Questions” © 2013, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of NCCS. For permission, contact info@canceradvocacy.org.