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UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Key Questions to Ask

A cancer diagnosis is often shocking and overwhelming. Before your visit to UCLA, it can be helpful to write out a list of questions for your doctor and/or the other staff members who will be assisting you. Below are some questions you may want to consider.  

General Questions
  • What is the name of my cancer?
  • Which part of my body is affected?

About Tests

  • Why do I need these tests?
  • What will you learn from this test?
  • How accurate is this test?
  • Is there any risk to the test?
  • Will the result of this test make any difference to the treatment you provide?
  • What are the results of the test I already had?
  • Have I had this test previously? If so, why is it being repeated?

About Treatment

  • What treatments are available for my type of cancer?
  • What treatments do you recommend?
  • How long will the treatment last?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatment?
  • Can the side effects be prevented or controlled?
  • Are the side effects temporary or permanent?
  • How will this treatment affect my daily life?
  • How is the treatment given?
  • How does the treatment work?
  • Will I receive treatment as an outpatient or be admitted to the hospital?
  • Will I need someone to assist me to and from the treatment facility?
  • How much will the treatment cost?
  • What if this treatment does not work?

About Participating in Clinical Trials

  • Would a clinical trial or investigational treatment be appropriate for me?
  • What benefit is there for me?
  • What are the risks?
  • How does this treatment differ from traditional treatment?
  • Will this treatment require more of my time than traditional treatment?
  • Why are these studies important?
  • What are the goals of the study?
  • Do I have the right to refuse to participate in a clinical trial?
  • Can I withdraw from the clinical trial at any time?
For answers to the most commonl clinical trials questions see our Clinical Trials FAQ.

Additional Questions

  • What resources are available to me and my family to assist with the stresses of cancer?
  • Is there an oncology social worker or psychologist available to talk to me or my family?
  • Do you have experts in nutrition and dietary supplements?
  • Are there resources to coordinate complementary therapies with traditional therapies?
  • Are there resources for special needs such as financial, transportation or housing concerns?
Last updated: 2/25/2010 10:29:21 AM