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Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Lung Cancer


Updated July 21, 2014

USA, California, Los Angeles, Doctor listening to patient
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Having a list of questions to ask your doctor about your lung cancer can remind you to ask about concerns you might otherwise forget. The emotions that accompany a diagnosis of lung cancer and the amount of information presented can make the simplest concerns slip your mind. Bringing a good friend with you that can take notes and make sure your questions have been addressed can be helpful as well. A few suggestions follow, but take time to look them over with your loved ones, and add concerns that fit your unique situation.

Questions During Diagnosis

  • What tests will be done to determine if I have cancer?
  • What are the risks associated with these tests?
  • Will I experience any discomfort? If so, how will it be treated?
  • When will the results be available? (very important)
  • Will I be called with the results, or do I need to make a follow-up visit?
  • Who should I call if I experience problems while waiting for my results?

Lung Cancer Treatment Questions

  • What type of cancer do I have, and what stage?
  • Was molecular profiling done on my tumor, and if so, is there a targeted therapy that would help me?
  • Is this the best place to receive cancer treatment, or would you recommend another cancer center?
  • What treatments do you recommend?
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?
  • Are there any clinical trials available that you would recommend?
  • Are there any alternative medicine options you would recommend? If unfamiliar with these, are there any alternative modalities (such as nutritional supplements) that could interfere with my therapy and make it less effective?
  • How will I know if the treatment is effective? When will follow-up tests be done to check on the progress of my treatment?
  • If my treatment is ineffective, what is the next step?
  • Can you give me a list of warning symptoms that should prompt me to call you right away?

Questions About Managing Lung Cancer Symptoms

  • Will I have pain, and how will it be treated?
  • Who should I call if I have pain that is not controlled by the medications I am given?
  • If I develop shortness of breath how will it be managed?


American Cancer Society. Questions That People Ask About Cancer. 01/29/09. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/MIT/content/MIT_1_4x_General_Questions_and_Answers.asp

National Cancer Institute. What You Need to Know About Lung Cancer. 09/17/12. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/lung


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