Questions To Ask Your Oncologist

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Regarding Diagnosis:

  • Name and stages
    • What is the exact name of my diagnosis?
    • Can I have a copy of my diagnosis reports? Like this I have the exact name of my diagnosis.
    • Is there a stage, if yes, what stage do I have?
    • Is the disease local (in some organ), or does/did it spread?
    • What tests are needed to fine tune or confirm the diagnosis?
    • Can you give me the list for what biomarkers I have been tested for and the results of that testing?
  • Progression
    • How does the disease progress?
    • Should I go for additional tests?
    • What is my prognosis?
    • What can I expect next?
  • Second opinion:
    • Who do you recommend for a second opinion? Should I have new tests if I go that way?
    • Can I have a copy of all my test results for a second opinion?

Regarding Treatment:

  • When your oncologists talks about a treatment:

    • What are the symptoms of my diagnosis?
    • What are my treatment options?
    • When should I start treatment?
    • What does my treatment entail: should I be treated in the hospital or should I take medication at home, or both?
    • How long will my treatment be?
    • Are there alternatives for the treatment you prescribe?
    • Will the treatment get rid of my cancer, or just protect it from further growth?
    • Is the treatment already on the market or is it in a testing phase? (see questions on clinical trials if in testing phase)
    • What support do I need during my treatment?
    • Do you suggest any complementary treatment (supplements, diet, sports,…) ? See questions on lifestyle.
  • Fertility:
    • Does the treatment have an impact on my fertility?
    • If I want children, is this still possible during or after the treatment?
  • Clinical Trials
    • What are clinical trials?
    • Are there risks attached to participating in a trial?
    • What happens during a clinical trial?
    • What happens once the clinical trial is finished?
    • Are there any costs related to participating in a clinical trial?
    • For what am I insured when I participate in a trial?
    • Do you recommend me participating in a specific trial?
    • Are there any clinical trials for my condition?
    • Could I be eligible for a clinical trial?
  • Side effects
    • What are the most common side effects for my treatment?
    • Can I prevent or manage certain side effects?
    • How long will I experience side effects?
    • Are there long terms side effects?
    • Can I prevent fatigue?
    • Can I prevent cognitive issues (chemo brain)?

Regarding Lifestyle:

  • Should I be aware about my lifestyle?
    • Can I be physically active?
    • Should I be physically active, if yes –what do you recommend?
    • What food can I eat, and what not?
    • Can I drink alcohol if I would consider doing it?
    • If I smoke, should I stop?
    • Can I take supplements? If yes, what kind?
    • Should I avoid certain supplements?

Regarding Cost of Treatment:

  • Will my treatment be covered by my insurance?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Will it be temporary or will there be long-term costs associated to my disease and treatment?
  • Who can help me with my questions on costs of treatment?

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