Questions to Ask Your Doctor After a Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

Patient Expert

A diagnosis of lung cancer can strike fear in a patient’s heart. However, to truly understand this diagnosis takes a bit more digging since there are several forms of lung cancer. Some forms are linked to smoking while others are not. Some forms of this cancer are fast-growing and metastasize easily to other regions of the body, while other types are slow-growing and tend to remain in the same area of the lungs. Treatment options also vary, depending on which type of cancer is diagnosed.

The following questions can help patients and their loved ones better understand the implications of a diagnosis of lung cancer:

Information About the Diagnosis

  • What type of lung cancer do I have?
  • Where is this cancer located?
  • Has the cancer spread to other parts of my lungs or body? Is there a possibility that it may spread in the future?
  • What is the cancer’s current stage? How many stages are there for this type of cancer? What does this stage of lung cancer mean for me?
  • Are other tests needed to better understand my cancer?


  • What treatment options are available?
  • What is the goal of each of these treatments?
  • Will any of these treatments slow or stop the cancer?
  • Which treatment(s) do you recommend and why?
  • How will these treatments affect my daily life as well as that of my family?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes I can make that will slow the cancer’s progress?
  • Should I consider participating in a clinical trial? How can I do that?


  • Do I need surgery? If so, what does that entail?
  • How will I manage my life if I’m missing a part of a lung or a complete lung?
  • What kind of recovery should I expect after the surgery?
  • What kind of additional support will be available after surgery?

Doctor’s Experience

  • What is your experience treating this type of cancer?
  • Do you take a conservative or aggressive approach to treating the type of cancer that I have?
  • Should I get a second medical opinion? How do I do that?


  • What is my overall prognosis and chance for recovery?
  • What should my family expect when supporting me as I battle this disease?

While being diagnosed with lung cancer can be scary, knowing your options can set you at ease. Don't go in blindly out of pure fear—find out your options and do everything you can to fit the cancer.

Source for This Sharepost:

American Cancer Society. (2013). Questions to Ask My Doctor About Lung Cancer.