Talking with healthcare providers about cancer can be overwhelming. It can be hard to take in all of the information. It helps to be prepared. Make a list of questions and bring them to your appointments. Write the answers down. Make sure you ask how the treatment will change your daily life, including your diet, activity level, and how you will look and feel after treatment. Ask how well the treatment is expected to work, and what the risks and possible side effects are.
You may also want to ask a friend or family member to go with you. He or she can take notes, write down the answers, and also ask questions you may not think of. You can also ask your healthcare provider if you can record the conversation.
Below are some questions to ask during your appointments.
What type of ALL do I have? How might this affect my treatment and prognosis?
Do I need any other tests before we can decide on treatment?
How long do I have to make treatment decisions?
How much experience do you have treating this type of leukemia?
Do I need to see any other doctors?
What treatment do you think is best for me? Why?
What is the goal of treatment?
What is the success rate of this treatment for my type of leukemia?
Should I get a stem cell transplant? If so, when?
Are there any clinical trials I should look into?
Should I get a second opinion?
Will my insurance cover treatment? How much will I have to pay?
Where can I learn more about my diagnosis and treatment options?
How soon do I need to start treatment?
Will treatment affect my sex life or my ability to have children?
How long will I need treatment?
What will treatment be like? How will I get it?
How much of the treatment will need to be done in the hospital? How long should I plan be there?
Can I take my other medicines during treatment?
Should I change my diet? Are there any foods I shouldn't eat?
What tests will I need during treatment? How often will they be done?
How will I feel during treatment?
How will we know if treatment is working?
What side effects can I expect?
How long will side effects last?
Are there side effects that I need to call you about? What number do I call?
What can I do to ease the side effects?
Will I be able to go to work and be around my family?
Are there limits to what I can do?
How often will I need to see you during treatment?
Are there any long-term side effects I should watch for?
Are there support groups that I can join?