Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Childhood Cancer

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 3/2014
Questions to Ask the Doctor

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your child’s doctor or other members of the health care team, to help you better understand your child’s diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

Talking often with the doctor is important to make informed decisions about your child’s 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 child’s care. 

  • What type of cancer has been diagnosed?
  • What stage is the cancer? What does this mean?
  • Can you explain my child’s pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
  • What treatment options are available?
  • What clinical trials are open to my child? 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 my child feel better, or both?
  • Will this treatment take place at a pediatric cancer center? Why or why not?
  • Who will be part of my child’s health care team, and what does each member do?
  • Who will be coordinating my child’s overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • How much experience does my child’s health care team have in treating this specific type of childhood cancer?
  • What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and the long term?
  • How will this treatment affect my child’s daily life? Will he or she be able to go to school and perform his or her usual activities?
  • Could this treatment affect my child’s ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should my family talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?
  • If I’m worried about managing the costs related to my child’s cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?
  • What are the chances that the cancer will recur?
  • What follow-up tests will my child need, and how often will he or she need them?
  • What support services are available to my child? To my family?
  • Whom should we call for questions or problems?

 To continue reading this guide, choose “Next” (below, right) to see some additional resources that may be helpful to you. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

© 2005-2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.

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