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  • Questions to ask your doctor about bowel cancer

    Last reviewed January 2013

    You may find this checklist helpful when thinking about the questions you want to ask your doctor about your disease and treatment. If your doctor gives you answers that you don’t understand it is okay to ask for clarification.

    • What type of bowel cancer do I have and how extensive is it?
    • What treatment do you recommend and why?
    • Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
    • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? Will there be permanent side effects?
    • Are the latest tests and treatments for this type of cancer available in this hospital?
    • Will I need a stoma? If so will it be temporary or permanent?
    • How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
    • How much will treatment cost?
    • Are there any clinical trials of new treatments?
    • How frequently will I need checkups?
    • How will I know when the cancer is in remission?
    • Will the treatment affect my sex life?
    • Are there any complementary therapies that might help me?
    • What services are available in this hospital or area to help support me through my cancer treatment? 

    Want to know where this information comes from? Click here.

    Information reviewed by:  Karen Barclay, Colorectal Surgeon, The Northern Hospital, Lecturer in Surgery, University of Melbourne, VIC; Carole Arbuckle, Cancer Nurse, Cancer Council VIC; Karen Bowers, Eat it to Beat it Strategy Project Officer, Cancer Council NSW; Darrell Bowyer, Consumer; Rebecca Foot-Connolly, Stomal Therapy Nurse, The Alfred Hospital, VIC; Bernadette Hadfield, Stomal Therapy Nurse, The Alfred Hospital, VIC; Melissa Heagney, Media and Communications Advisor, Cancer Prevention Unit, Cancer Council VIC; Dorothy King, Consumer; and Loreto Pinnuck, Stomal Therapist, Wound Consultant, Paediatric Continence Specialist, Monash Medical Centre, VIC.

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