Talk to Your Doctor

About Your Treatment

  • How many treatments will I be given?
  • What drug or drugs will I be taking?
  • How will the drugs be given?
  • Where will I get my treatment?
  • How long will each treatment last?

About Side Effects

  • What are the possible side effects of the chemotherapy?
  • When are side effects likely to occur?
  • What side effects are more likely to be related to my type of cancer?
  • Are there any side effects that I should report right away?
  • What can I do to relieve the side effects?

About Contacting Medical Staff

  • How do I contact a health professional after-hours, and when should I call?

At Swedish, many nurses tell their patients, "You don’t get ‘extra points’ for keeping quiet." Ask all the questions you need to — as many times as necessary. During your visit, nurses will ask you how you have been feeling since your last visit. Many people think that if they are nauseous or have other side effects, the drugs are "working" on the cancer, and if they do not have side effects, the drugs are not working. This is simply not true. If you have any side effects at all, tell the nurse. If you have been taking an anti-nausea medication and still feel nauseous, tell the nurse so a different medication can be prescribed for you.

Listed below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor when chemotherapy becomes part of your treatment plan. Do keep in mind that your treatment plan can be adjusted as time goes on.

About Chemotherapy

  • Why do I need chemotherapy?
  • What are the benefits of chemotherapy?
  • What are the risks of chemotherapy?
  • Are there any other possible treatment methods for my type of cancer?
  • What is the standard care for my type of cancer?
  • Are there any clinical trials for my type of cancer?