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Questions to ask your doctor

Medical appointments can be stressful. To better deal with this stress, we suggest you prepare yourself before walking in the door to meet with any member of your health care team. This means having your questions thought through and written out. Begin with your most critical questions to be sure of getting the most important answers. If you are not clear on the response, ask for clarification. It can also be helpful to have someone with you to take notes and be a second pair of ears.

Our members living across the country in cities, towns, and rural areas suggested these questions. The questions were further reviewed and evaluated by Dr. Ann Partridge at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

These questions are offered to help you focus on the information you need. Use them as a guide to select which questions are most relevant for you.

If diagnosed by your primary care physician

  • Where do you send your metastatic patients for treatment?
  • If I am sent elsewhere for treatment, how will you communicate with the other doctor?

When choosing your cancer doctor (oncologist)

  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Do you have other metastatic breast cancer patients at this time?
  • If needed, do you have colleagues with whom you can consult?
  • Do you enroll patients in clinical trials? If I should want to participate in a trial, would you help me find an appropriate one?
  • What is the best way to contact you or your team between visits if I have a concern? by phone? by e-mail?