Questions to Ask Your Oncologist

For All Patients with Lung Cancer

  • What type of lung cancer do I have?
  • What is the stage of my lung cancer?
  • Do I need additional scans or biopsies in order to plan my treatment?
  • What is the goal of treatment?
  • Are there any other treatment options available to me?
  • Who will be my Surgeon? My Radiation Oncologist? My Medical Oncologist?
  • Does my Oncologist have Medical Residents who will be involved in my care?
  • Who will be my Primary Care doctor?
  • What roles does my Family Doctor play in my care?

For Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy

  • How will my treatment be planned?
  • What types of scans will be used?
  • Where & how often will I receive radiation treatment?
  • How much time will each treatment take?
  • Should someone accompany me to the treatments?
  • How much of the normal lung will be included in the radiation field?
  • Will I receive radiation treatment to other parts of my body? If so, why?
  • How and when will I know if the treatment works?
  • Might I receive chemotherapy and radiation treatment at the same time?
  • How and when will you know if the treatment works?

For Patients who have Completed their Treatment

  • Who is my primary Oncologist looking after my lung cancer?
  • How often should I visit my Oncologist?
  • What tests will I have during my follow-up?
  • What are the chances my lung cancer will return? If it does, can I receive more treatment?
  • Is there anything more I can do to reduce the chance that my cancer will return?

For All Patients with Lung Cancer

  • What are the names of the chemo agents and how will they be given?
  • Is there a cost for any of them?
  • If so, how can I get help to pay for them?
  • How many treatments are planned?
  • How often and where will I receive them?
  • Should someone accompany me to the treatments?
  • What are the side effects of this chemotherapy?
  • What can be done to minimize the side effects?
  • Whom do I call and what should I do if I have a severe side effect?
  • How and when will you know if the chemotherapy works?

For Patients Considering a Clinical Trial

  • How long has this clinical trial been in place? Is this a Phase I, II, or III Clinical Trial?
  • What is the goal of this clinical trial?
  • What is expected of me if I agree to this trial? What is the benefit to me?
  • What are the long and short term side effects of the clinical trial?
  • What happens if I have a bad experience? What do I do and who do I call?
  • Will I still have access to my regular Oncologists or will I be referred to other doctors?
  • What are my options for standard treatment?
  • What other Clinical Trials are available to me?

Questions to Ask your Family Physician

  • Will you continue to be involved in my care? If so, how?
  • Do you have much experience looking after people with my type of lung cancer?
  • Should another doctor, other than the Oncologist, be involved in my care?
  • Will you make house calls?

Disclaimer: Information contained in this information sheet is intended for general information only and should not replace professional medical advice, assessment and evaluation. These resources are not a substitute for the personalized judgment and care of a trained medical professional. Consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any medical decision or if you have questions about your individual medical situation. Never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read in this information sheet. Lung Cancer Canada tries to ensure that the information in this information sheet is accurate and reliable, but cannot guarantee its accuracy or that it is error free or complete. Lung Cancer Canada does not endorse any product, treatment, or therapy, nor does it evaluate the quality of services provided by any organization mentioned in this information.

By: Catherine Black (Lung Cancer Caregiver), Betty Jacoby (Lung Cancer Caregiver), Elizabeth Perry (Lung Cancer Caregiver), Magdalene Winterhoff (Oncology Social Worker)