Questions to ask about targeted therapy
The following are questions that you can ask the healthcare team about targeted therapy treatment. 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 doctor’s appointment and to write down the answers.
- What is targeted therapy?
- What are the benefits and risks of targeted therapy?
- What type of targeted therapy will I be given?
- What are the brand and generic names of the drug(s)? What is the correct spelling?
- How is targeted therapy given? How often?
- Where will targeted therapy take place?
- Does targeted therapy require a hospital stay? If so, for how long?
- Can a support person (partner, parent or friend) stay during targeted therapy?
- Can any treatment be done at home? Is any special equipment or training needed?
- How long will targeted therapy last?
- What are the chances it will be successful? When will we know?
- Is any preparation needed for targeted therapy?
- What tests are done during targeted therapy?
- Will other treatments (like radiation therapy or biological therapy) be used at the same time as targeted therapy?
- Are any immunizations or vaccinations needed before targeted therapy starts?
- Will the drug(s) interact with any over-the-counter drugs (for example, Tylenol) or vitamins?
- What are possible side effects of targeted therapy? When would they start? How long do they usually last?
- Which side effects should I report right away? Who do I call?
- What can be done to treat side effects?
- Is a special diet needed? Are there any foods that interact with the targeted therapy drugs?
- Are there special things that I should or should not do during or after targeted therapy?
- Will targeted therapy affect my usual activities? If so, for how long?
- Will there be other treatments after targeted therapy? If so, what kind?
- When are follow-up visits scheduled? Who is responsible for follow-up after targeted therapy?
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.