When you are diagnosed with cancer, there are certain questions you should ask your doctor so you’ll better understand your illness and what to expect during treatment. Review the following questions with your radiation oncologist at your first radiation appointment, or early in your treatment, and write down the answers so you don’t forget.
1. What type of radiation therapy will best treat my cancer?
2. How does radiation therapy treat my specific type of cancer?
3. What is the goal of radiation therapy – to cure or control my symptoms?
4. What is the likelihood of radiation therapy being a successful treatment for my cancer?
5. Will I need additional treatment after radiation therapy?
6. Are there any risks associated with radiation therapy for my cancer type?
7. What will my treatment schedule be – how many treatments will I need and how long will each session be?
8. What does radiation therapy feel like?
9. What are the possible side effects of radiation therapy and when am I likely to experience them?
10. What side effects or problems should I report to my doctor and how will those be managed?
11. Do I need to make any changes to diet or exercise during treatment?
12. Will I be able to keep up with my normal activities, like working, socializing, or walking my dog?
13. How will radiation therapy affect my skin and hair?
14. Are there any medicines or vitamins I should not take while receiving radiation therapy?
15. Do I need to bring someone with me or drive me to any appointments?