Endocrine Tumor: Questions to Ask the Doctor

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2014

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 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.

General questions:

  • What type of endocrine tumor do I have?
  • Is the tumor cancerous?
  • If so, what is the stage of my cancer? What does this mean?
  • Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
  • Do I need treatment right away?
  • What treatment options do I have?
  • What clinical trials are open to 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 coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • What are the possible side effects of each 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 duties?
  • 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 treatment begins?
  • If I’m worried about managing the costs related to my medical care, who can help me with these concerns?
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Whom do I call for questions or problems?

For people who need surgery:

  • Will I need to stay in the hospital for this surgery? For how long?
  • What are the possible side effects of my surgery?

For people who need chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or hormone therapy:

  • Which medications will I be receiving?
  • How will each medication be given to me? How often?
  • What does the preparation for this treatment involve?
  • What side effects can I expect from this treatment?
  • What will be done to relieve the side effects?

For people who need radiation therapy:

  • What type of radiation therapy is recommended?
  • What is the goal of the radiation therapy?
  • How long will each session of the radiation therapy take? How often will it be given?
  • What side effects can I expect from this treatment?
  • What will be done to relieve the side effects?

After treatment:

  • What are the chances that the tumor will return (recur)?
  • What follow-up tests do I need, and how often do I need them?
  • 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.