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

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 5/2012
Questions to Ask the Doctor

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.

General questions:

  • What type of eye cancer do I have?
  • Where exactly is the tumor located?
  • What stage is the cancer? What does this mean?
  • Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
  • Do you recommend any additional diagnostic tests, such as cytogenetics or gene expression profiling?
  • Who can help me interpret the results of this test(s)?
  • Do I need treatment right away?
  • What experience do you have in treating patients with uveal melanoma?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What is the likelihood that the cancer is metastatic?
  • What clinical trials are open to me?
  • 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 treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment?
  • What are the possible side effects of this 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 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 related to my cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?

For patients who need surgery:

  • What type of surgery do you recommend? Why?
  • What are the side effects of my surgery?
  • Will I need to stay in the hospital for this surgery? For how long?
  • Will I have problems with my vision afterwards, either immediately or in the long term?

For patients who need an eye removed:

  • How do I adjust to only having one eye?
  • How long will it take me to recover physically?
  • What rehabilitation services are available?
  • How soon can I get a prosthesis (artificial eye)?
  • When do I get a permanent prosthesis?
  • How do I care for my prosthesis?

For patients who need radiation therapy:

  • What kind of radiation therapy will I receive?
  • What does the preparation for this treatment involve?
  • What is the likelihood of having radiation damage to my eye?
  • What is the risk of vision loss?
  • What other side effects can I expect from this treatment?
  • What can be done to treat the side effects?

After treatment:

  • What are the chances that the cancer will return?
  • What follow-up tests do I need, and how often do I need them?
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Whom do I call for problems?

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

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