My first meeting with my oncologist. What questions should I ask?

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    Rev. Wayne, congrats on your surgery. Some questions you may want to ask post op to your oncologist are:

    what type of chemo will you be on? radiation? for how long?

    are they familiar with the results of BILCAP  for post op chemo?

    how will you be followed to monitor for recurrence? scans? blood markers? how often?

    did they send your resected tumor for genetic profiling?

    good luck!




    I would ask how long you can expect to be on chemo, and whether or not to get a port.  The process of infusing the chemo through arm veins, eventually damages the veins (for me it was after 3 mths), making it difficult to get blood samples and to find a vein to use for the infusions. The veins end up almost permanently damaged making it difficult to get simple blood samples. A port helps you avoid these problems.

    Also, depending on the type of chemo, I would ask about permanent side effects, and how they will monitor the side effects vs benefits. I was on cisplatin for 3 months, and ended up with permanent hearing damage. I changed oncologists after 3 months, and the new one immediately took me off cisplatin, saying it wasn’t working. If it was working, we would have seen a result the first month. Apparently my first ONC didn’t know this.

    Good luck,





    Dear CC Community,
    Tomorrow is my first appointment with my oncologist. Two months ago I had surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I am back there again now. Up to now I have met with my local doctor, the GI folks and my surgeon. Now the talk moves to cancer, chemo and radiation. If any of you can think back on that first meeting, what questions did you ask and or what questions do you wish you asked.
    Thanks for any insight.
    Rev. Wayne

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