Questions about chemotherapy
Asking your doctor questions will help you make an informed choice. You may want to include some of the questions below in your own list.
Learn helpful questions about:
- Why do I need chemotherapy?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of chemotherapy for me?
- How successful is chemotherapy for the type of cancer I have?
- What is the goal of this chemotherapy?
- Are there any other treatments I can have instead?
- Will chemotherapy be my only treatment or will I have other treatments?
- How much does treatment cost?
- What drugs will I be receiving? How will they be given?
- How often will I receive chemotherapy and for how long?
- How will you decide the dosage?
- Are there clinical guidelines you are following?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- Where will I have chemotherapy? Can I have it close to where I live?
- Do my family and friends need to follow any safety measures?
- Can I take my usual medications during chemotherapy?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of this type of chemotherapy?
- Will any side effects be long term or short term?
- What can I do to help manage any side effects?
- Will chemotherapy affect my sex life and fertility?
- Are there any complementary therapies that might help me?
- Should I change my diet or physical activity during or after treatment?
- Who should I contact for information or if I have a problem during treatment? Who is my after-hours contact?
- How often will I need check-ups after treatment?
- Am I at risk of developing late effects from chemotherapy? What might these be? What can I do to prevent this?
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Clinical A/Prof Rosemary Harrup, Director, Cancer and Blood Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Katie Benton, Advanced Dietitian, Cancer Care, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Queensland Health, QLD; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Stacey Burton, Consumer; Dr Fiona Day, Staff Specialist, Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Andrew Greig, Consumer; Steve Higgs, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Prof Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology, The Canberra Hospital, ACT.
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