Neuroblastoma - Childhood: Questions to Ask the Doctor

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2014

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, use the menu on the side of your screen.

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 child’s 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 child’s next appointment, or download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for an e-list and other interactive tools to manage your child’s care.

  • Where is the cancer located?
  • What is the stage of the cancer? What does this mean?
  • What risk group has my child’s neuroblastoma been classified as? What does this mean?
  • Does my child’s tumor secrete any tumor markers?
  • Can you explain my child’s pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What clinical trials are open to my child? Where are they located, and how do I find out more about them?
  • Does this hospital participate in clinical trials for children with neuroblastoma?
  • 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?
  • What is my child’s prognosis?
  • How many children with neuroblastoma are seen and treated at this hospital?
  • 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?
  • 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 attend school or 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 medical care, who can help me with these concerns?
  • What follow-up tests are needed, and how often are they needed?
  • What support services are available for my child? For my family?
  • 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.