Appendix Cancer: Questions to Ask the Health Care Team

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2019

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. Use the menu to see other pages.

Talking often with the health care team 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. You may want to print this list and bring it to your next appointment, or download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for a digital list and other interactive tools to manage your care. It may also be helpful to ask a family member or friend to come with you to appointments to help take notes.

Questions to ask after getting a diagnosis

  • What type of appendix cancer do I have?

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

  • Is the cancer considered to be localized, regional, or advanced? What does this mean?

  • How often do you treat people with appendix cancer?

Questions to ask about choosing a treatment and managing side effects

  • What are my treatment options?

  • 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 is my prognosis?

  • 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?

  • How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, or 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 cost of cancer care, who can help me?

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

  • If I have questions or problems, who should I call?

Questions to ask about having surgery

  • Can surgery be done to remove all of the cancer?

  • Can surgery be done to debulk the cancer? How will this help me?

  • How experienced is the surgeon with this type of operation?

  • What will my recovery be like after this operation?

  • Do you recommend chemotherapy or other treatment after surgery?

  • Can you describe what my recovery from surgery will be like? 

  • Who should I contact about any side effects I experience? And how soon?

Questions to ask about having chemotherapy or radiation therapy

  • What type of treatment is recommended?

  • What is the goal of this treatment?

  • How long will it take to give this treatment?

  • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

  • Who should I contact about any side effects I experience? And how soon?

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

  • If I’m worried about managing the costs of cancer care, who can help me?

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

  • Who will be leading my follow-up care?

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

  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?

The next section in this guide is Additional Resources. It offers some more resources on this website that may be helpful to you. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.