Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis
This information is a tool to help people who have recently been diagnosed with cancer become more informed and actively involved in their care. Print the full list of questions »
Preparing for your First Doctor Appointment:
At the first doctor appointment there will be a significant amount of information presented to you about your diagnosis and treatment options. It is important to think about what information you will need to make an informed decision about your care. The following are some ideas that might help you get all of the information you need
- Take a family member or close friend to the appointment and ask them to take notes.
- Write down additional questions prior to your appointment to help you remember and then be sure to write down the answers.
- If you have a large family that would like to attend your appointment call ahead to schedule an appropriate amount of time to accommodate the questions.
- Ask your physician if you may tape record the explanation of the diagnosis and treatment options.
What Should You Ask?
Important questions to ask after you have been diagnosed with cancer:
- What type of cancer do I have?
- What stage is my cancer?
- Has it spread to other places in my body?
- Will additional tests be necessary to confirm diagnoses?
- What treatments are available?
- How will treatments affect my quality of life?
- How long will the treatments last?
- How often will I have treatments?
- Where will I receive my treatments?
- What type of side effects might I have and what can I do to help avoid side effects?
- What complications might I have with the treatments?
- What are the risks and benefits of treatment?
- Are there any diet or drinking restrictions?
- What type of follow up might I expect?
- What resources are available to help me better understand my cancer and the treatments?