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Helpful tips and questions for meeting with your doctor and cancer team

​Your doctor and cancer care team are your best source of information and can answer your questions about your diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care.​​

It can be hard to understand or remember information when you are anxious or afraid, even if the doctor is thorough. You can get the most from your appointment with a little preparation:

  • Write down your questions before your appointment, and bring the list to your appointment.
  • Take notes to help you recall what your doctor says.
  • Bring a voice recorder and ask if you can record your discussion for later review.
  • Bring a family member or friend to your appointment

About your cancer diagnosis:

  • What is the type and name of the cancer I have?
  • At what stage is my cancer? What does that mean?
  • Is there anything about my cancer that makes my prognosis better or worse?
  • Is this type of cancer caused by genetic factors? Are other members of my family at risk?

Cancer Testing:

  • What types of tests, labs, x-rays or scans will I need? How often will I need them?
  • Can you explain the results of my tests?

Cancer treatment:

  • Which cancer treatment options are best for me?
  • What clinical cancer trials (research) are available for my diagnosis?
  • How often and how long will I receive this treatment?
  • How will I know if my treatment is working?
  • Where can I go for more information?

Side effects:

  • What are the side effects of my cancer treatments?
  • Is there anything I can do to make my side effects better?
  • Who should I call if I have questions or concerns outside of Clinic hours?

Daily activities:

  • How will cancer treatment affect my life and daily activities?
  • Will I be able to go back to work?
  • Will I be in the hospital for some or all of my treatment?
  • Are there activities I should avoid while undergoing treatment?
  • Where can I get more information to help me and my family during treatment and recovery?

Survivorship:

  • What can I expect my life to be like after cancer treatment?
  • What types of continued monitoring and treatment will I need?
  • When will you know I am cured?
  • What happens if my cancer comes back?​​​​​​​​
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Contact us for care

If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

Test Your Knowledge of Cancer's Warning Signs

Early detection of cancer is important because it is usually easier to treat—and possibly cure—when caught early. Do you know what signs to look for? Take this quiz to find out more.

1. Any sudden or progressive change in a mole's appearance could be a sign of skin cancer.
2. A new mole or a change in an existing mole may be a sign of skin cancer.
3. One sign of malignant melanoma is a mole with shades of tan, brown, black, or blue.
4. Changes, lumps, or hard masses in the testicles are signs of testicular cancer.
5. A change in bowel habits—blood in the stool or chronic constipation—is a common symptom of stomach cancer.
6. Lumps, hard knots, or a thickening in the breast could mean breast cancer.
7. A nagging cough or hoarseness could be signs of lung cancer.
8. Prostate cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages.
9. Symptoms of mouth or tongue cancer include a sore inside the mouth that doesn't heal and mouth pain that doesn't get better or go away.
10. Bladder cancer has no symptoms.