Radiotherapy: questions you may wish to ask

It is important that you understand what will happen during and after radiotherapy, and why you are having radiotherapy. 

Many people say they either don't know what questions to ask or they just can't remember them. To help you think about what you want to ask your doctor, you may find the following questions helpful.

About my treatment

  • What are the benefits of the treatment you are advising me to have?
  • What are the risks, if any, of this treatment?
  • What are the success rates for this treatment?
  • What are the risks if I decide to do nothing for the time being?
  • Are there any other treatments I could have?
  • How long will I have to wait before starting treatment?
  • If there is a delay in starting treatment, how will this affect my outcome?
  • What will the treatment be like and how long will it take?
  • Will there be side effects and what can I do about them?
  • How can I expect to feel after the treatment?
  • How will my doctor know if my treatment has worked?
  • Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns, during my treatment or once my treatment has finished?
  • Will I be able to have reconstructive surgery after my radiotherapy (if appropriate)?

How treatment might affect my life

  • Will I still be able to drive?
  • Will it affect my regular activities, for example work?
  • Will it affect my personal / sexual relationships?
  • Will I be able to take part in my favourite sport / exercises?
  • Will I be able to follow my usual diet?
  • Will I need to take any special precautions, such as staying out of the sun?
  • Will I be able to wash / shower as normal?