When you see a haematologist today you may have questions and concerns. These can be easily forgotten at that time because dealing with a cancer diagnosis can be stressful and there is a lot of information to remember.
We have compiled a list of questions to help you get the
information you want about your illness and possible
Asking questions is important
You and your family can use this pamphlet to help you decide
what you need to ask your haematologist each time you have an
Tick the questions that you want to ask or write down any that
are not listed. Your haematologist is keen to answer any questions
you may have, either now or at future consultations. If your
questions have already been answered, then this pamphlet can serve
as a checklist. Remember you can ask your haematologist to explain
anything you are unclear about or to explain any words you are not
- What kind of cancer do I have?
- Where is the cancer at the moment? Has it spread to other parts
of my body?
- How common is my cancer?
- Are there any further tests that I need to have?
- What will they tell us? Will they confirm my diagnosis?
- What will I experience when having the test/s?
- Are the tests performed here?
- How bad is this cancer and what is it going to mean for
- What symptoms will the cancer cause?
- Will the treatment cure the cancer or just control it and
- What is likely to happen with treatment?
- What is the expected survival for people with my type of
- Is the treatment going to improve my chance of survival?
- How likely is it that the treatment will improve my symptoms?
Is it worth going through?
- Will the treatment or illness reduce my sexual drive or
Treatment and information options
- Is it necessary to have treatment right now?
- If so, do I have a choice of treatments?
- What are the pros and cons of each treatment option?
- What can I expect if I decide not to have treatment?
- How much time do I have to think about this?
- Do you need my decision today?
- What is your opinion about the best treatment for me?
- Will I need a bone marrow transplant?
- What exactly will be done during the treatment and how will it
affect me? When are these effects likely to happen?
- What is the treatment schedule, e.g. how many treatments will I
have, how often, and for how long will I have treatment?
- Where will I have the treatment?
- Are there any advantages/disadvantages of the private versus
public health system?
Preparing for treatment
- Is there anything that I can do before or after my treatment
that might make it more effective, e.g. diet, work, exercise?
- What are the do's and don'ts while having treatment?
- What problems should I look out for and who do I contact if
- What are the side effects? Will I lose my hair?
- Are there long-term side effects from the treatment?
- Will I need any additional treatment after this? If so, what
might that be?
- What is my long-term follow up plan?
- What are clinical trials? Are there any that might be relevant
- Will I be treated any differently if I enrol in a trial?
- What will be the costs throughout my treatment, e.g.
medication, chemotherapy, etc?
- Am I eligible for any benefits if I cannot work?
- Do you specialise in treating my type of cancer?
- How well established is the treatment you are
- Are there guidelines on how to treat my cancer?
- Is there another specialist who treats this type of cancer that
you recommend for a second opinion?
- Do you work in a multi-disciplinary team and what does this
- Can you explain the advantages of a team approach?
- How do you all communicate with each other and me?
- Who will be in charge of my care?
- What do I do if I get conflicting information?
Top of page
- What information is available about my cancer and its
treatment, e.g. books, videos, websites, etc?
- Are there any complementary therapies that you believe may be
helpful or that are known to be bad for me?
- Is there someone I can talk to who has been through this
- Are there services/support groups that can help me and my
family deal with this illness?
- Do I need to see a Dentist?
- Should I give up work?