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If you’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, it’s important to have an open and honest dialogue with your treatment team. Your oncologists can provide you with the most individualized information, taking into account factors that aren’t considered in general colorectal cancer FAQs. Meanwhile, your nurses and supportive care providers can also be valuable resources by helping you prepare for and recover from treatment, manage any side effects that might occur and develop strategies for improving your quality of life.

Things you might want to ask your colorectal cancer treatment team

While you should feel comfortable bringing up any topic that comes to mind, 10 particular questions you may want to ask are:

  • Where is my cancer located?
  • Has it spread?
  • Do I need any other tests (or should I get a second opinion) before we get started with treatment?
  • What are the treatment options for my particular type of colorectal cancer?
  • Is there any benefit to planning my treatments in a specific order?
  • Are there any particular side effects that I should expect?
  • How will we know if my treatment is working?
  • Are there any specific things I should or should not do during treatment?
  • What sort of follow-up tests will I need to have and how often should they be scheduled?
  • What do you think my prognosis might be?

How to sort through all of the information

You’ll have quite a bit of information to sort through after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and it’s normal to feel confused and overwhelmed. One of the best things you can do is make sure that you’re seeking information from reliable sources – your oncologists and supportive care providers, scientific publications and the websites of reputable health care organizations are ideal – and ask for clarification if there’s anything you don’t understand. You might also consider bringing a family member or friend with you to your appointments so that they can take notes while you focus on talking with your treatment team.

The experts at Moffitt Cancer Center encourage you to bring us any questions you might have about your diagnosis, prognosis or treatment options. No referral is required to request an appointment with our gastrointestinal oncologists, no matter where you are in the treatment process. To request an appointment with our colorectal cancer treatment team, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.