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Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Whether you are a potential or a diagnosed patient, or simply a family member, it is natural to feel overwhelmed when confronted with the possibility of lung cancer. We encourage you to prepare questions to ask our specialists and consultants during your diagnosis and treatment at NYU Medical Center.

A wonderful reference source for this is the book 100 Questions and Answers about Lung Cancer by Karen Parles, M.L.S., and Joan Schiller, M.D., published by Jones and Bartlett. Some of the key questions that are discussed at length in the book include:

  1. What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

  2. Which tests are performed to diagnose lung cancer?

  3. What are lymph nodes?

  4. What is staging and why is it important?

  5. What is my prognosis? Can I survive lung cancer?

  6. Should I get a second opinion?

  7. How do I manage my emotions?

  8. What do caregivers need to know?

  9. What insurance and financial concerns do I need to address following a lung cancer diagnosis?

  10. What does it mean when my surgeon says he/she "got it all"?

  11. What are the treatment options for my type and stage of lung cancer?

  12. How do I learn about clinical trials?

  13. What should I know about complementary and alternative therapies?

  14. Are there particular considerations for treatment of elderly patients?

  15. How do I decide on a treatment plan when there are multiple options?

  16. What happens if my disease recurs?

  17. What can I do for fatigue?

  18. What can I do to relieve my pain?

  19. What is a pleural effusion and how is it managed?

  20. Will I lose my hair during chemotherapy or radiation?

  21. What happens when my treatment ends?

  22. Does lung cancer run in families?