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

Learning that you have cancer can be a shock, and you may feel overwhelmed at first. When you meet with your doctor, you will hear a lot of information. These questions may help you to find out more about your cancer 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?
  • Posted: February 14, 2012