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Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Team

How to best prepare for a consultation about cancer

When you risk receiving a cancer diagnosis or if you already received a diagnosis but are seeking a second opinion, it is critical to ask good questions that will help you understand your condition. Consequently, you will be in a better position to make the best-informed decisions about your care and treatment plan. Here are the top 10 questions to ask your healthcare team from Dayspring Cancer Clinic’s experience with our patients to help.


1.     What type and stage of cancer do I have?

Most healthcare providers will identify the type of cancer based on where it originates like prostate, breast, or lungs. Additionally, cancer is staged from 0 to IV with IV being the most severe based on the extent it is within the body. Stage IV indicates advanced cancer that has spread to other tissues or organs beyond the primary site.


2.     What are my treatment options?

With the evolution of therapies, there are many more treatment options than the conventional ones like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Therapies like immunotherapy have made advances that provide patients with more options that have the potential to be more harmonious with the immune system.


3.     What are the risks and benefits of each treatment option?

Conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are generally known for significant side effects that include pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, swelling, and hair loss so it is important to know them including whether they are short-term or long-term. With alternative therapies, generally, the side effects are minimal however it’s still important to discuss them with your health care provider.


4.     What is the goal of treatment?

This is an important question particularly when the cancer is advanced. You want to understand from your healthcare provider if the treatments are meant to resolve the cancer, slow its progress, or manage symptoms. The goal of the treatment should be clear and aligned with your goals.


5.     How will the treatment affect my daily life?

The impact on one’s life depends on many factors including the type, frequency, intensity, and duration of the treatment. Ask questions about how the treatment will affect your ability to interact with family and friends, continue with your work, or do activities you commonly do.


6.     What support services are available to me?

Treating the cancer is only part of the equation for your healing and well-being. Often other challenges can arise including how to manage the emotional stress, the pain, and the nutritional support needed throughout your cancer treatment. There are also support groups that can help you and your family.


7.     What is the prognosis for my condition?

Cancer is a serious disease so it is important to understand the potential outcomes depending on the type and stage of your cancer. Again, there are many treatments to consider, but it’s important that you clearly understand the potential outcomes based on our health care provider’s knowledge and experience.


8.     How will my progress be monitored during treatment?

Monitoring the progress of your cancer is a critical step in how to best customize the treatment. Ask your healthcare provider what tests are used to determine how effective the treatments are. Blood tests, imaging tests, and physical exams are just some of the tests and understanding which ones and how often they are done will give you a better overall picture of what to expect.


9.     What is the expected timeline of my treatment plan?

Each treatment plan can vary in length depending on the modality used. Whether it is weeks or months, find out the proposed timelines including follow-up appointments that will be prescribed so you can best plan how to manage your schedule and life around the care.


10.  How can I or my family best communicate with my healthcare team?

You should feel that you have control of your treatment plan including how often you are able to communicate with your healthcare providers. Some treatment plans span over several months and others are more concentrated like alternative therapies. Regardless of your choice, identify providers that openly provide you access to connect with them when you have questions.


Stay healthy

Cancer is a serious illness but you can feel empowered to determine the best treatment that is needed. It’s important to do your research and have access to leading experts to identify the best therapies that give you the highest likelihood of a positive outcome. At Dayspring Cancer Clinic, we understand and have years of experience helping patients work through the many challenges that arise from cancer. Regardless of your choice of providers, our mission is to provide every prospective patient and their family with the latest information to make the best decision for their care. We are also a lean organization that provides speed to therapy options that traditional providers are not able to do. We also provide access to resources that help patients overcome the many concerns from emotional to economic that can get in the way. To learn more about how we can help you get the best care without delays, contact Dayspring Cancer Clinic at 480-699-7400 or schedule a consultation at



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