Questions to Ask Before Treatment

You or a loved one may recently have been diagnosed with cancer. You are probably facing a difficult time emotionally and a seemingly endless array of treatment decisions that need to be made. Below are some questions that you might ask your doctor to help them guide you through this process.

  • What type and stage of cancer do I have?
  • What is the purpose of radiation treatment for my type of cancer?
  • How will the radiation therapy be given? Will it be external beam or brachytherapy? What do the treatments feel like?
  • How long will I receive radiation? How many treatments will I receive per week?
  • What are the chances that radiation therapy will work? Are there any other effective treatments?
  • What is the chance that the cancer will spread or come back if I do not have radiation therapy?
  • Will I need chemotherapy, surgery or other treatments? If so, in what order will I receive these treatments? How soon after radiation therapy can I start them? How will the treatments be coordinated?
  • Is there a clinical trial for which I might be eligible? Should I participate in a clinical trial?
  • What are the benefits and risks of treatment including short-term and long-term side effects?
  • What are some of the support groups I can turn to during treatment?
  • Will radiation therapy affect my ability to have children?
  • If I have questions after I leave here, who can I call or email?
  • How should I prepare for this financially?
  • Do you take my insurance? Is there a co-pay?
  • Is this the most convienent location for treatment (close to home or work?)

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