Top 5 Questions For Your Lung Cancer Doctor
1. Will you test my tumor for molecular markers?
A newer type of lung cancer treatment called "targeted therapy," may be the best treatment option if your tumor has certain characteristics, called molecular markers. It is important you know all of your treatment options and having your tumor tested using comprehensive genomic testing is an important step. Receiving comprehensive versus standard testing will give your doctor a fuller understanding of your particular type of lung cancer so they can suggest the best treatment options for you.
2. Is a clinical trial right for me?
Clinical trials are carefully monitored research studies and may give you access to potentially life-saving treatment. Talk with your doctor about whether a clinical trial is the right treatment decision for you as soon as you begin exploring treatment options.
3. Can I meet with a palliative care specialist?
Most people don't know that many hospitals and treatment centers have a team of specialists trained to help you cope with side effects. Palliative care is sometimes thought of as something people receive at the end-of-life, but it is actually recommended that lung cancer patients receive this extra layer of support as soon as they start treatment. Palliative care, sometimes called supportive care, offers side effect management through counseling, therapies and medications that can make lung cancer treatment just a little easier.
4. What are the goals of the treatments you've recommended?
You and your care team should work together to make the best treatment decisions for you. Part of making these decisions is knowing the goal of the treatment and if it aligns with your vision for your care.
5. What should I do if I have questions or concerns?
Each member of your care team may have their own preferred way of communicating. Some prefer phone calls, others may use email and some may recommend you contact a point person such as a nurse navigator. Knowing how your care team prefers to communicate can make it easier to get your questions answered and concerns addressed.
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed November 13, 2017.