Treatment-Related Questions to Ask Your Doctor (General)
Is it alright if I audio-tape our conversation?
Is there a cure for my condition? What is my prognosis, as you see it?
How does my past medical history affect which treatments are options for me?
Based on the stage of my disease, what is your recommended treatment option?
What is the goal of treatment?
How long will I have to undergo the treatment?
What are the names of the drugs I require and what are they for?
How long does each course of the treatment take?
What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of this treatment?
What are the common side effects of the recommended treatment?
What should I do if I experience severe side effects? Telephone # to call:____________________________________________________
What can I do to safeguard against the onset of side effects?
How will you know that my treatment is working?
How can I expect to feel during treatment?
How long should it take the treatment to work?
What happens if I miss a treatment?
How will my condition be monitored after my cancer treatment?
Can I work during treatment if I wish to do so?
What other types of colorectal cancer treatments are available?
What are the benefits, disadvantages, and possible complications of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biological therapy (immunotherapy) for colorectal cancer?
What do these colorectal cancer treatments involve?
How often should I be seen for followup appointments?
Why do I need blood tests and how often will I need them?
Is combination chemotherapy a treatment option that is appropriate for me?
If I decide to receive combination chemotherapy, what is my chance of remaining disease-free?
If I decide not to receive combination chemotherapy, what is my chance of remaining disease-free?
What will the treatment schedule look like in terms of how many days I will need to come into the clinic, how long I will have to stay each day, and how many days after a treatment I might need to take off work or limit other plans?
Are there any “high-risk” features of my tumor that make it more important for me to consider combination chemotherapy?
Is the recommended therapy covered? If not, will my third party insurance plan cover the therapy?
If I do not have third party coverage, what are my options?
Which center would be able to provide the best treatment for my cancer?
When should I start treatment?
Is it ok to wait to start treatment as a result of ….?
Will I need to spend time in the hospital? If so, for how long?
If I have treatment, could my cancer return?
For each possible treatment option, what are the chances that my cancer might come back?
If the cancer comes back, can it again be treated successfully? If so, what treatments are available to me in the event of a recurrence?
For Stages 1, 2, and 3: Should I have additional treatment, even if the cancer is removed by surgery?
Stage 4/Recurrent/Relapsed: Will the results of the treatment be worth the side effects I may suffer?
Can I choose a less aggressive treatment so as to keep me comfortable?
What will happen if I refuse further treatment?
What happens if I react badly to treatment and need to stop? Will we try something else instead?
What possible long-term effects might occur as a result of the treatment?
Once I finish treatment, how will I be monitored for recurrent cancer?
What followup tests will be done and at what intervals?
Do you regularly measure CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) levels? If so, how often? What will you do if this level increases?
If other specialists take part in my care, who will coordinate my entire treatment program?
If I don’t feel ill, does this mean the treatment is not working?
Are there any steps I should take during or after treatment to help myself stay healthy?
Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that I should consider?
Does my colorectal cancer diagnosis mean I am at higher risk for any other type of cancer?
Is a clinical trial appropriate for my situation? Why or why not? Would I receive better medications?
What types of experimental colon cancer treatments are being developed?
Can you recommend a local or online support group for people who have colorectal cancer and for their families to me?
For younger patients: Will the treatments affect my ability to have children? Is there a way to protect my fertility?
What is the best time to call you if I have a question? Telephone #________