Our Facebook Group Head & Neck Cancer Support

Questions Before Treatment

Questions to Ask at Diagnosis


1.      What stage is my cancer so that I can understand the severity/extent?

2.      What is the exact medical prognosis?

3.      Is the approach to surgically remove the tumour and simultaneously investigate the extent of cancer, and then suggest a treatment plan?

4.      Where will my treatment take place? Will I need to travel out of xxxxx?
Internationally, how do NZ protocols differ when treating this type of cancer? 

5.      Where can I find support near to me and how can I link in?

6.      Am I entitled to travel assistance, and if so, how do I apply?

7.      Can I find accommodation in a cancer house near to my treatment?

8.      What other support am I entitled to receive (dental, speech therapy, nutrition etc.)?

9.      Do I need to take medication, and for how long?

10.   What is the timeline (given my circumstances) for treatment and recovery?

11.   What are my chances of full recovery?

12.   What will happen if I do nothing?

13.   Who do I talk to if I have any concerns and fears?

14.   How urgent is the treatment required? Should we be considering having some or part of my treatment or examinations privately?

15.   Should I be having a PET/CT scan to see whether any other parts of my body are affected? If so, when's the soonest we can do it? What other scans, tests or screenings should I be considering?

16.   Is it possible to determine how fast the cancer is growing?

17.   You've mentioned my family's history with cancer. Should my spouse/children be screened?

18.   What non-medical precautions or lifestyle changes should I be taking/making from now on? E.g. dietary supplements, more/less/different kinds of exercise, avoiding particular foods, changing diet, etc.

19.   What's the best way to ensure I get a copy (preferably electronic) of all of my medical notes and reports?

20.   What treatment in more advanced countries are they offering patients with my diagnosis?

21.   Do you specialise in this particular type of surgery?

22.   Who would you recommend as a second opinion?

23.   Do you have similar patients that I could connect with to understand the journey ahead?