Questions to Ask About Treatment for Oral Cancer

At first, the information you receive about treatment options may seem overwhelming. You may ease the stress by allowing yourself time to gather as much information as possible about your disease and its treatment and to discuss the issues with your doctors, nurses, and loved ones.

You may find it helpful to make a list of your questions before seeing your doctor. To make it easier to remember what the doctor says, you may want to take notes during meetings with your doctor, or ask if you can use a tape recorder. It might also help to have a family member or friend with you to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen. Use the list of questions below as a starting place for the questions you might ask:

  • What treatments do you think are best for me and why?

  • What are the goals of treatment? Are we trying to cure the disease or control it? 

  • What is the success rate of this particular treatment for my type and stage of oral cancer?

  • How do I go about getting a second opinion? 

  • What is the length of the treatment period?

  • How long will each treatment take?

  • Who is involved in giving me the treatment?

  • Where do I have to go for the treatment?

  • Does someone need to go with me to the treatments?

  • Will treatment affect how I look or how I use my mouth? If so, what can be done to help?

  • During treatment, will I be able to go to work and be around my family?

  • Should I change my diet? What foods can’t I eat?

  • Should I try to quit smoking?

  • Should I stop drinking alcohol?

  • Are there any clinical trials I should look into?

  • Can I take my other medicines during the treatment period?

  • How will I feel after the treatment?

  • What side effects can I expect to encounter?

  • How long will side effects last?

  • What can I do to ease the side effects?

  • Are there side effects that I need to call you about?

  • Are there support groups near by that I can talk to?