Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: Questions to Ask the Doctor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your doctor or other members of your health care team, to help you better understand your diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Talking often with the doctor is important to make informed decisions about your health care. These suggested questions are a starting point to help you learn more about your cancer care and treatment. You are also encouraged to ask additional questions that are important to you. You may want to print this list and bring it to your next appointment, or download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for an e-list and other interactive tools to manage your care.

  • Where exactly is the tumor located?
  • Can you describe the stage of the cancer? What does this mean?
  • Is it possible to predict its future behavior?
  • Can you explain my pathology report, or laboratory test results, to me?
  • Did a pathologist with experience diagnosing salivary disease review my biopsy?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What clinical trials are open to me? Where are they located, and how do I find out more about them?
  • What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the cancer, help me feel better, or both?
  • Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?
  • How much experience do they have treating this disease?
  • Who will be coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and the long term?
  • How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
  • If I am worried about managing the costs related to my cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?
  • Will there be changes to my appearance? How? For how long? Will I need reconstructive surgery or other procedures?
  • Will there be permanent issues relating to saliva production or eating?
  • Should I talk with an oncologic dentist before treatment begins?
  • Should I meet with a speech pathologist before treatment begins?
  • How can I keep myself as healthy as possible during treatment?
  • Could this treatment affect my sex life? If so, how and for how long?
  • Could this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?
  • What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?
  • What are the chances this cancer will recur?
  • What treatments are available if my cancer recurs?
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?

The next section offers some more resources that may be helpful to you. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Additional Resources, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.