Questions about chemotherapy
Below are some questions about chemotherapy to ask your doctor to learn more about it as a treatment option, and whether it’s the right fit. If you don’t understand your doctor’s answers, ask for clarification.
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?
- Is there any targeted therapy for the type of cancer I have?
- How much does treatment cost?
- What drugs will I be receiving? How will they be given?
- How often will I receive chemotherapy? How long will I have treatment?
- How will you decide the dosage?
- Are there clinical guidelines you are following?
- Where will I have chemotherapy? Can I have it close to where I live?
- How will we know if the treatment is working?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of this treatment?
- Will chemotherapy affect my sex life and fertility?
- What can I do to help manage any side effects?
- Are there any complementary therapies that might help me?
- 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 there be? What can I do to prevent this?
Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Julie Bolton, Consumer; Keely Gordon-King, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; John Jameson, Consumer; Dr Zarnie Lwin, Medical Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Felicia Roncolato, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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