Lymphoma - Non-Hodgkin: Questions to Ask the Health Care Team

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2020

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your child’s doctor or other members of your child’s 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 health care team 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 and your family. You may want to print this list and bring it to the 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 NHL has been diagnosed?

  • What is the stage of the disease? What does this mean?

  • Can you explain my child’s pathology report (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 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 my child feel better, or both?

  • What medications will my child receive to treat the cancer?

  • Will my child receive each medicine at a hospital or clinic? Or at home?

  • Should my child receive a bone marrow/stem cell transplant?

  • Will my child receive radiation therapy?

  • Will my child need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long? How often?

  • 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?

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

  • How will each treatment affect my child’s daily life? Will they be able to go to school and perform their usual activities?

  • Will this treatment plan affect my child’s ability to become pregnant or have children in the future? If so, should we talk with a fertility specialist before treatment begins?

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

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

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

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?

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

  • What follow-up tests will my child need, and how often will those tests be needed?

  • How do I get a treatment summary and survivorship care plan to keep in my child’s 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 ResourcesIt offers more resources on this website beyond this guide that may be helpful to you. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.