Advanced preparation and education about chemotherapy can help relieve some of the stress and confusion many people feel when faced with any treatment for cancer. If you’re about to begin chemotherapy, these questions can serve as a guide to help you discuss treatment with your doctor.
- Is chemotherapy the best choice of treatment for my condition? What is the usual standard of care for people with the type of cancer that I have? Are there alternatives to chemotherapy? Will the chemotherapy be performed in conjunction with other treatments like radiation therapy or surgery?
- Are there clinical trials or experimental treatments available for the type of cancer that I have? Why should or shouldn’t I consider going on such a trial?
- What drugs will I be receiving? How was/were these drug(s) chosen? How will each drug be given (intravenously, orally, by injection, or otherwise)?
- How many treatments will I receive? What is the treatment schedule? Where do I go to receive treatment?
- How long should I plan on being at the treatment center? Can I have someone with me during the administration of the drugs? Is there a TV or radio in the room? Can I bring a DVD player, iPod, or other entertainment device? What else should I plan on bringing to the treatment center?
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/9/2017
13 Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Chemotherapy
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler’s educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Jay W. Marks, MD
Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.