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Questions to ask

It is natural to have many questions after a cancer diagnosis. Finding the right answers to your questions is important. These answers will help you make decisions that are right for you.

You may find it helpful to prepare a list of questions and take it with you to appointments. The following tips may also help when meeting with the doctor and other members of the healthcare team:

  • Plan what you would like to ask ahead of time. It helps to keep questions clear and focused.
  • Many people find it helpful to write their questions in a notebook, leaving a space after the question for the answer. This may help you remember to ask your questions when you are at the appointment.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask new questions that you think of while you are at the appointment.
  • Take a family member or friend along for support. They can also help ask questions or record answers.
  • Write down or record the answers to your questions so you can review them when you need to.
  • Ask the healthcare team to spell difficult or unfamiliar words.
  • Confirm with the healthcare team that the answer you have written down is correct.
  • Ask the healthcare team how to contact them between appointments if you have any questions that need to be answered quickly.
  • Remember that you have the right to have your questions about the cancer and treatment plan answered.

The following sections include key questions to ask the healthcare team (organized by topic). You don’t have to ask all of these questions. Choose the ones that fit your, or your child’s, situation and add questions of your own.