Germ Cell Tumor - Childhood: Questions to Ask the Health Care Team

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2018

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 child’s diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. Use the menu to see other pages.

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 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 a digital list and other interactive tools to manage your child’s care.

Questions to ask after getting a diagnosis 

  • What type of tumor does my child have?

  • Where is it located?

  • Is it cancerous?

  • If so, what stage is the cancer?

  • Can you explain my child’s pathology report, or laboratory test results, to me? 

Questions to ask about choosing a treatment and managing side effects 

  • What are my child’s treatment options?

  • What clinical trials are available for my child? Where are they located, and how do I found out more about them?

  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?

  • What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the tumor, help my child feel better, or both?

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

  • Who will be part of my child’s health care team, and what does each member do?

  • Who will be leading my child’s overall treatment?

  • How will this treatment affect my child’s daily life? Will my child be able to go to school and perform his or her usual activities?

  • Could this treatment affect my child’s ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I family talk with a fertility specialist before my child’s cancer treatment begins?

  • If I am worried about managing the costs of medical care, who can help me?

  • Whom should I call for with questions or problems?

  • Is there anything else I should be asking? 

Questions to ask about planning follow-up care

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

  • What long-term side effects or late effects are possible based on the cancer treatment I received?

  • What follow-up tests will my child need, and how often will he or she need them?

  • How do I get a treatment summary and survivorship care plan to keep in my personal records?

  • Who will be leading my child’s follow-up care?

  • What survivorship support services are available to my child? To my family?

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. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.