Adrenal Gland Tumor - Questions to Ask the Doctor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2016

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.

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 medical 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.

Questions to ask after getting a diagnosis

  • What type of adrenal gland tumor do I have?

  • Is the tumor cancerous?

  • Is the tumor functional or nonfunctional? What does this mean?

  • Is the tumor located only in the adrenal gland?

  • Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?

  • Should I talk with a genetic counselor before I start treatment?

  • Could my family members be at risk for developing an adrenal gland tumor? Should they talk with a genetic counselor?

Questions to ask about choosing a treatment and managing side effects

  • What are my treatment options?

  • What clinical trials are available for me? Where are they located, and how do I find out more about them?

  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?

  • Will I need hormone therapy? For how long?

  • What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the tumor, help me feel better, or both?

  • Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?

  • Who will be leading my overall treatment?

  • What is my prognosis?

  • How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?

  • 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?

  • If I’m worried about managing the costs of medical care, who can help me?

  • What support services are available to me? To my family?

  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?

  • Is there anything else I should be asking?

Questions to ask about having surgery

  • Is surgery required? If so, what type of surgery? Will the entire adrenal gland be removed?

  • How experienced is the surgeon with this type of surgery?

  • How long will the operation take?

  • How long will I be in the hospital?

  • Can you describe what my recovery from surgery will be like?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of having this surgery?

Questions to ask about having radiation therapy

  • Is radiation therapy an option to treat the tumor?

  • What type of radiation therapy do you recommend?

  • What is the goal of radiation therapy?

  • How many treatments will I need, and how long will each one take?

  • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of having radiation therapy?

  • What can be done to prevent or manage these side effects?

Questions to ask about having chemotherapy

  • What type of chemotherapy do you recommended?

  • What is the goal of this treatment? Can chemotherapy control the tumor?

  • How will the treatment be given? Through an IV or orally?

  • How often will I receive chemotherapy? For how long?

  • Will I receive chemotherapy at a hospital or clinic? Or will I take it at home?

  • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of this chemotherapy regimen?

  • What can be done to prevent or manage these side effects?

Questions to ask about planning follow-up care

  • What is the chance that the tumor will come back? Should I watch for specific signs or symptoms?

  • What long-term side effects or late effects are possible based on the treatment(s) I received?

  • What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?

  • How do I get a treatment summary and survivorship care plan to keep in my personal records?

  • Who will be leading my follow-up care?

  • What survivorship support services are available to me? To my family?

  • Will I need to have hormone replacement therapy? For how long?

The next section in this guide is Additional Resources. It offers some more resources on this website beyond this guide that may be helpful to you. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.