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 in a notebook. Make sure you ask how the treatment will change your daily life, including your diet, and how you will look and feel after treatment. Ask how successful the treatment is expected to be, 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 and 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 much experience do you have treating this type of leukemia?
Do I need to see any other types of 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?
Will my insurance cover treatment? How much will I have to pay?
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 much of the treatment will need to be done in the hospital? If so, how long will I be there?
Can I take my other medicines during treatment?
Should I change my diet? Are there any foods I shouldn't eat?
Will I need any tests during treatment? If so, how often?
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?
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?