At Your Appointment

Cancer Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • Is this the first time you've been diagnosed with this type of cancer, or is it a recurrence?
  • Have you been previously diagnosed with any other type of cancer?
  • What other health conditions do you have? How are you treating and managing them?
  • Are you experiencing any side effects from the cancer treatments?
  • What kind of emotional and social support do you have to help you cope with cancer?
  • Would you be willing to consider participating in a clinical trial?
  • What symptoms are you having and when did they first start?
  • Are your symptoms constant or do they come and go?
  • Do you have a family history of cancer? If so, which types?
  • Do you currently smoke or use tobacco or have you done so in the past?
  • What is your occupation? Do you have regular exposure to chemicals or solvents?
  • How are you tolerating your cancer medications and treatments?
  • What is the treatment plan that was initially proposed to you?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • What tests do I need to find out if I have cancer?
  • How long will it take find out if I have cancer?
  • Could my symptoms be caused by another medical condition?
  • Is there anything I can do to lower my risk of cancer?
  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • What stage is my cancer?
  • Has the cancer spread to my lymph nodes or anywhere else?
  • How soon do I need to start treatment and how long will it take to treat my cancer?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • Am I a candidate for any new cancer treatments or clinical trials?
  • What strategies can help prevent or relieve the side effects I'm experiencing?
  • What other options are available for me?
  • Are my new symptoms a direct result of my cancer treatment?
  • How aggressive is my cancer?
  • What is the best treatment plan for my cancer, including possible clinical trials?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend for me? And why?
  • What side effects are possible with this treatment? Are there strategies to prevent or treat them?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Nov 1
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Cancer. Mayo Questions to Ask Your Health Care Team. American Society of Clinical Oncology. https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/diagnosing-cancer/questions-ask-your-health-care-team
  2. Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20370594