Understanding Targeted Therapy
Questions you might like to ask your doctor
It is important to ask your specialist questions, especially if you feel confused or uncertain about your treatment. If you have a lot of questions, you could also talk to a cancer care coordinator or nurse. You may want to make a list of questions before appointments and include some of these questions:
- Is targeted therapy available as part of my treatment plan? If not, why not?
- Which targeted therapy drug are you recommending as part of my treatment plan? Does this drug have different names?
- How often have you prescribed this targeted therapy? Has it worked well for your other patients?
- What do you expect the targeted therapy drug to do to the cancer?
- Will it be my only treatment or will I also have other treatments?
- How much will targeted therapy cost? Is there any way to reduce the cost if I can’t afford it?
- Are there any clinical trials that would give me access to new types of targeted therapy?
- How often will I have targeted therapy?
- How long will I receive targeted therapy?
- Where will I have targeted therapy? Will I need to come to the hospital or treatment centre for an IV infusion or injection, or will I just need to take tablets or capsules at home?
- If I am taking the treatment at home, can I get the script filled at any pharmacy?
- What side effects should I watch out for or report?
- Will the drugs affect my immune system?
- Should I still have vaccinations?
- Who do I contact if I get side effects?
- How can side effects be managed?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
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This information is reviewed by
This information was last reviewed June 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: A/Prof Brett Hughes, Senior Staff Specialist, Medical Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and The Prince Charles Hospital, and The University of Queensland, QLD; Natalie Dubs, Consumer; Hazel Everett, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cancer Services, St John of God Subiaco Hospital, WA; Karen Hall, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Hilda High, Genetic Oncologist, Sydney Cancer Genetics, NSW; Ingrid Kivikoski, Consumer; Anne McGregor, Consumer; Donna Milne, Nurse Consultant, Melanoma and Skin Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Prof Nick Pavlakis, Board Chair, Thoracic Oncology Group of Australasia (TOGA), and Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Gay Refeld, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Breast Care, St John of God Subiaco Hospital, WA.