Questions to ask about pathology and staging
The following are questions that you can ask the healthcare team to learn more about a type of cancer. Choose the questions that fit your, or your child’s, situation and add questions of your own. You may find it helpful to take the list to the next appointment and to write down the answers.
- Where did the cancer start?
- What type of cancer is it?
- What is the correct spelling for the type of cancer?
- What is the grade or how aggressive is the cancer?
- What is the stage or extent of the cancer?
- Has the cancer spread (metastasized) to the lymph nodes?
- Has the cancer spread to other areas of the body? If so, where?
- Are more tests needed before treatment can start? If so, what are they? Why do they need to be done?
- What is the prognosis for this type of cancer?
- What are the survival statistics for this type of cancer? What are the survival statistics by stage for this type of cancer?
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.