Lymphoma - Hodgkin - Questions to Ask the Doctor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2015

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 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 Hodgkin lymphoma do I have?

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

  • Has my biopsy been reviewed by a pathologist who is an expert in lymphoma?

  • What is the stage of my Hodgkin lymphoma? What is the subtype?

  • What good and poor prognostic factors do I have? What does this mean?

Questions to ask about choosing a treatment and managing side effects

  • How experienced are you in treating Hodgkin lymphoma?

  • What are my treatment options?

  • 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 coordinating my overall treatment?

  • Should I get a second opinion?

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

  • What symptoms should I be most concerned about during treatment? When and how should I contact the health care team if they appear or get worse?

  • 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?

  • How can I stay as healthy as possible during treatment? Will taking supplements or changing my diet help improve my overall health?

  • 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 a man, should I bank my sperm?

  • If I’m worried about managing the costs related to my cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?

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

  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?

  • Is there anything else I should be asking?

Questions to ask about having chemotherapy

  • Which chemotherapy treatment do you recommend?

  • What is the goal of this treatment?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of chemotherapy alone versus chemotherapy plus radiation treatment?

  • How often will I need to have treatment? For how long?

  • How long will it take to give this treatment?

  • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of having this treatment?

  • What can be done to relieve the side effects?

Questions to ask about having radiation therapy

  • What, if any, radiation treatment do you recommend? Why?

  • What area(s) do you plan to treat?

  • What is the goal of this treatment?

  • How long will it take to give this treatment?

  • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of having this treatment?

  • What can be done to relieve the side effects?

Questions to ask about stem cell/bone marrow transplantation

  • What type of transplant is recommended?

  • What is the goal of this treatment?

  • How long will I be in the hospital?

  • Can you describe what my recovery will be like?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of having this treatment?

  • What can be done to relieve the side effects?

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?

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

  • 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, and it offers some more resources on this website beyond this guide that may be helpful to you. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.