Coming prepared to appointments is key to staying in control of your care. Learning about new information and treatment options can be overwhelming and intimidating, which might prevent you from asking the right questions. Here, we suggest some questions to ask at your next appointment. Don’t forget to bring a notebook to jot down detailed information. This will put your mind at ease and ensure you understand your treatment.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR HEALTH CARE TEAM ABOUT YOUR TREATMENT:
- What are the goals of this treatment?
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks and benefits of each treatment option?
- Which treatment do you recommend, and why?
- Which treatments are covered by insurance?
- If insurance doesn’t cover this treatment, what options exist to help with finances?
- Where can I go to get more information about clinical trials?
- Are there any clinical trials that might be appropriate for me?
- Where will I go to receive my treatment?
- When can I start my treatment, and how long will it last?
- What side effects might I experience, and how can they be managed or prevented?
- Are there treatment options I should consider if chemotherapy isn’t appropriate or has stopped working?
- Where can I get a second opinion?
QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT YOUR DOCTOR AND THE CLINIC OR HOSPITAL:
- Are you board certified as an oncologist or surgeon, or are you certified in another specialty?
- How much experience do you have in treating my specific kind of cancer?
- How do you stay up-to-date on the latest cancer treatments?
- Are you associated with a major medical center, medical school, or comprehensive cancer center?
- Do you and the hospital accept my type of insurance?
- Will I be able to receive all treatments at this facility?
- Are cancer clinical trials offered at this facility?
- Is there an oncology nurse or social worker who will be available during my treatment for education and support?
- What other support services (support groups, housing, transportation, etc.) are available at this facility for me and my family?