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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?

Featured resource

Understanding Targeted Therapy

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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.