Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Questions You Should Ask

Many people find it difficult to remember their questions when they’re in the exam room. To help you make the most of each visit, we encourage you to write your questions down before your appointment. Consider the questions below as you think about what you’d like to ask your medical team:

Surgery Questions

  • What type of surgery/incision will I have? Is there a minimally invasive option?
  • What are the benefits and risks of the procedure?
  • Are there other procedure options? What are the benefits and risks of those options?
  • How long will the surgery take? How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What is the recovery process? Will there be personal limitations (driving, work, food, etc.)?
  • When and how are the surgery results communicated to me?

Treatment Questions

  • What is the name and stage of the cancer I have?
  • What treatment do you recommend for me? What are the benefits and risks?
  • Are there other treatment options? What are the benefits and risks of those options?
  • How often will I receive treatment?
  • How long will I be in treatment (or watchful waiting)?
  • What are the common side effects?
  • When should I report side effects?
  • How do I deal with side effects?
  • Are there any clinical trials that are available to me?

General Questions

  • What is the typical course for this disease?
  • How will I learn about my test results?
  • What are the goals for my care?
  • Who is my main contact for questions or concerns?
  • How can I reach my physician or nurse (normal working hours, nights and weekends)?
  • What else do I need to know?