- What type and stage of cancer do I have?
- What is the purpose of radiation treatment for my type of cancer?
- How will the radiation therapy be given? Will it be external beam or internal beam (brachytherapy)? What do the treatments feel like?
- For how many weeks will I receive radiation? How many treatments will I receive per week?
- What are the chances that radiation therapy will work?
- Can I participate in a clinical trial? If so, what is the trial testing? What are my benefits and risks?
- What is the chance that the cancer will spread or come back if I do not have radiation therapy?
- Will I need chemotherapy, surgery or other treatments? If so, in what order will I receive these treatments? How soon after radiation therapy can I start them?
- How should I prepare for this financially?
- What are some of the support groups I can turn to during treatment?
- If I have questions after I leave here, who can I call?
- Will radiation therapy affect my ability to have children?
- Do you take my insurance?
- How can I expect to feel during treatment and in the weeks following radiation therapy?
- Can I drive myself to and from the treatment facility?
- Will I be able to continue my normal activities?
- What side effects may occur from the radiation and how are they managed?
- Do I need a special diet during or after my treatment?
- Can I exercise?
- Can I have sex?
- Can I smoke or drink alcohol?
- Will side effects change my appearance?
- If so, will the changes be permanent or temporary?
- If temporary, how long will they last?
- Is it safe to take vitamins during treatment?
- How and when will you know if I am cured of cancer?
- What are the chances that the cancer will come back?
- How soon can I go back to my regular activities?
- Sexual activity?
- Aerobic exercise?
- How often do I need to return for checkups?
More Questions to Ask Your Physician or Nurse
Here are some questions you might want to ask your doctor or nurse:
- What kind of radiation therapy will I get?
- How can radiation therapy help?
- How many weeks will my course of radiation therapy last?
- What kinds of side effects should I expect during my course of radiation therapy?
- Will these side effects go away after radiation therapy is over?
- What kind of late side effects should I expect after radiation therapy is over?
- What can I do to manage these side effects?
- What will you do to manage these side effects?
- How can I learn more about radiation therapy?