Sample Online Questions
- “My brother was just diagnosed with lymphoma. I am educated, but man, there are more than 20 kinds of lymphoma! I can’t make heads or tails about which of the websites or studies apply to him. I want to help him research this but the web is too overwhelming. Do you have any suggestions on where to start?”
- “Talking about sex to my doctor just doesn’t seem to be a priority during our short office visit, is it okay to have sex while I am undergoing chemotherapy treatments? Will my sperm carry any chemotherapy and cause harm to my wife? Do I need to wear a condom?” What if she gets pregnant, will the chemo cause birth defects?
- “I have the gene for breast cancer. Someone told me that my son could have it or be a carrier. Can you explain this all to me?”
- “I have CLL and my doctor is talking about starting Campath®. He talked to me about an IV form but on the web I see that it can be given as a shot. That would be so much nicer since I don’t want to miss any work. What is your experience with Campath® given as a shot instead of an IV? Are there less or more side effects?”
- “I was just diagnosed with a Stage 3 colon cancer and my doctor wants me to consider a clinical trial. I read a lot on the web and found it difficult to find the standard of care for my type of tumor. Please advise.”
- “Is it true that I shouldn’t have sex before I get my PSA level checked?”
- “My mother is 76 years old with the first stage of breast cancer. She has hormone positive breast cancer. She is also positive on Her 2 neu. She will have radiation therapy and her oncologist has recommended chemotherapy plus Herceptin®. What are the normal toxicities that you have seen with Docetaxel® and Cyclophosphamide, along with the Herceptin®? We think this is a very aggressive approach for her. Can you comment?
- “My husband is wasting away. He has just finished his third round of chemotherapy for colon cancer. He is ready to start a new chemotherapy. His doctor hasn’t brought up hospice yet and I am wondering when is the right time? I don’t want him to think that I have given up on him but I think he doesn’t have much time left. He doesn’t want to talk about this with me. I am anxious and concerned. I am worried that I am not going to be able to take care of him. Thanks for you help.”
- “I have lung cancer, the bad kind and I am not ready to give up yet. My doctor says that since the chemo and radiation didn’t work, I have no other options. Where can I find more options, even if it means I have to go to Mexico?”
- “I am still nauseated with my chemotherapy treatments (TAC) and my doctor has tried the following three drugs, Ondansetron, Decadron and Prochlorperazine, is there anything else to do?”
- “I feel like I am so tired all of the time and it has been 2 months since my last treatment. I took 6 treatments of Rituxin® and other drugs. When will I feel normal again?"
- “My neighbor has terminal cancer and lives alone. She is fine now but I am worried about her. No one has talked to her about it at the doctor’s office. What can I do?"
- “My father has just started the new lung cancer pill, Tarceva®. He has gotten the rash and the PA said that was a good thing. My father doesn’t ask any questions. Can you explain what they meant and do you have any more information on this drug?”
- “I have been researching other treatments for my wife’s hot flashes from Tamoxifen®. What do you know about Black Cohash and acupuncture in helping with hot flashes?”
- “How do I know if my doctor is board-certified in oncology?”
- ”I can’t make up my mind about whether or not I want to do breast reconstruction. Me and my husband don’t care. The surgeon thinks I need to make up my mind now because he said plastic surgeons don’t like to do reconstruction after radiation therapy. I haven’t been able to find anything on this in the literature. Is there a problem if I decide to do reconstruction down the road if I get my radiation now?”
- “My daughter had Hodgkin’s Disease at 21. She has no more cancer. She is 36 now and doesn’t see her oncologist anymore. She sees a female doctor but no one is talking to her about mammograms. Shouldn’t she be getting one? What do you suggest?”
- “I am in the donut hole for Medicare Part D coverage of my drugs and I cannot afford these expensive chemo pills. Are there any generics or substitutes?”
- “I am taking a herbal and juice extract every day. Will this interfere with my treatment?”
- “I am a sitting duck to get cancer since it is all in my family. Where do I start to try and prevent this from happening to me?”
"At a time when our world had suddenly changed for the worst, our nurse consultant became our guiding light to help us make crucial decisions."
- Bill and Jane N.
Breast Cancer Survivor, North Carolina