Questions you may wish to ask

Ask as many questions as you want to. It’s easy to forget the questions you want to ask when you see your cancer doctor or nurse, so you may like to write them down as you think of them and take your list with you to your appointment. There is a list of questions below you may find useful. The Cancer Society also has a booklet of useful questions titled Questions You May Wish To Ask that you can receive by phoning the cancer information nurses on the Cancer Information Helpline 0800 CANCER (226 237), by picking up a copy from your local Cancer Society, or by viewing and downloading it from our website.

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of chemotherapy for me?

2. Are there any other treatments I can have instead?

3. Will chemotherapy cure me or simply control the cancer?

4. Am I having chemotherapy to lessen the chance of the cancer coming back?

5. What difference would it make if I waited?

6. What will happen to me if I don’t have chemotherapy?

7. Can I have a second opinion?

8. How long will my treatment last and how often will I have to have it?

9. Will chemotherapy be given to me as tablets or injections or a drip?

10. Will I have to stay in hospital?

11. How long will each treatment take?

12. Will I be able to carry on with my normal life when I’m not at the hospital?

13. If I can have the treatment privately, how much does it cost?

14. What side effects can I expect?

15. How long after my treatment ends will it take for the side effects to go?

16. Will there be any permanent damage?

17. Will I still be able to have children in future?

18. Can I keep on taking my usual medicines?

19. Are there any special foods or drinks I should or shouldn’t have?

20. Is there anything I need to be particularly careful about during my treatment, and/or after my treatment ends?

If there are answers you do not understand, feel comfortable to say:

  • Would you please explain that again?
  • I am not sure what you mean.
  • Would you please draw a diagram, or write it down?

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