Questions for your doctor

Sunday 1 February, 2015

You may find this checklist helpful when thinking about the questions you want to ask your doctor about your disease and treatment. If your doctor gives you answers that you don't understand, ask for clarification.


  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • Has the cancer spread?
  • How fast is it growing?


  • What treatment do you recommend and why?
  • Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • How much will treatment cost?
  • How can the cost be reduced?
  • Are the latest tests and treatments for my type of cancer available in this hospital?
  • Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?

Side effects

  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
  • Are there any complementary therapies that might help me deal with side effects?
  • Will I have pain due to the treatment?
  • What will be done about this?

Practical considerations

  • Will I be able to work during treatment?
  • Will treatment affect what I can eat?
  • Is it safe to have sex during treatment?
  • Will treatment affect my fertility?

After treatment

  • How frequently will I need check-ups after treatment?
  • Who should I go to for my check-up appointments?

Reproduced with permission from Cancer Council NSW.

Talking bubbles icon

Questions about cancer?

Call or email our experienced cancer nurses for information and support.

Contact a cancer nurse