Here’s a sample list of questions that you might want to ask your medical team.
Prior to treatment
- Can you please explain how the radiotherapy works i.e. how does it attack the cancer and why is it the best option for my type of cancer?
- What are the benefits of the treatment you are advising me to have?
- What are the success rates for this treatment – nationally and for this hospital?
- Will radiotherapy cure my cancer or relieve the symptoms?
- Am I having external or internal radiotherapy and can you please explain why?
- What are the risks, if any, of this treatment?
- What are the risks if I decide not to have this treatment?
- Is there an alternative treatment?
- What are the long term side effects I can expect? Months – years after?
- How long will each individual treatment take, how many will I need per week and for how many weeks (i.e. how many treatments will I need in total?)
- What will the treatment be like and how long will it take?
- Can you explain exactly what will happen before and during treatment?
- Is the treatment area going to be marked on my skin with ink?
- How will I feel immediately after treatment?
- What are the side effects of the radiotherapy treatment I am having? Is there anything I can do to alleviate/avoid them?
- How will my doctor know if my treatment has worked?
- What kind of clothes should I wear?
- Will I need to stay in the hospital?
- How will treatment affect my life e.g. regular activities, driving, relationships, exercise, and diet?
- Will I need to take any special precautions e.g. stay out of the sun
- When will I need follow-up appointments and for how long?
- Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns, during my treatment or once my treatment has finished?