Karmanos Cancer Institute
A Checklist for Talking to Your Oncologist

Talking to Your Doctor

The cancer program recommends that patients bring a family member or friend with them to their initial appointment(s) to take notes and ask questions that may not occur to them, as well as to provide support.

Print and use this checklist to guide an open and honest talk with your doctor.

  • What will happen at my first appointment?
  • What do I need to bring with me?
  • If my first test comes back positive, can I get a second opinion?
  • What are my options for treatment of my cancer? Do you recommend surgery/chemotherapy/radiation? Why?
  • Can I get a second opinion regarding treatment?
  • If I am treated, is the purpose to cure my cancer, extend my life or relieve my symptom?
  • What are the side effects of the treatments? What would you recommend to help with these side effects?
  • Are there any clinical trials I may participate in?