Endocrine Tumor: Questions to Ask the Doctor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2016

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 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 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?

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

  • 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 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 of medical care, who can help me?

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

  • Whom do I call with questions or problems?

Questions to ask about having surgery

  • What type of surgery will I have? Will lymph nodes be removed?

  • 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 chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, or targeted 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?

Questions to ask about having 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?

Questions to ask about planning follow-up care

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

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

  • Whom should I call with questions or problems?

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.