Cervical Cancer: Questions to Ask the Doctor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2016

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 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.

Questions to ask about prevention

  • Should I receive the HPV vaccine?

  • Should I be tested for HPV infection? What does this mean?

  • How often should I have a Pap test?

Questions to ask after a diagnosis of cervical cancer or precancer

  • What is my diagnosis, and what does it mean?

  • What is the stage of the precancer or cancer? What does this mean?

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

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?

  • 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?

  • Who will be leading my overall treatment?

  • What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and the long term?

  • Will this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant in the future? Should I talk with a fertility expert before starting treatment?

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

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

  • Should I stop have sex during treatment?

  • Will my sex life be affected after treatment?

  • What can I do to stay healthy as possible during and after treatment?

Questions to ask about planning follow-up care

  • What is the risk of the cancer returning? Are there signs and symptoms I should watch for?

  • What long-term side effects or late effects are possible based on the cancer treatment 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 coordinating my follow-up care?

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

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.