Questions to ask about finding cancer early

The following are questions that you can ask the healthcare team about early detection of and screening for cancer. Choose the questions that fit your, or your child’s, situation and add questions of your own. You may find it helpful to take the list to the next appointment and to write down the answers.

  • Is there anything that can be done to find this cancer early? Are there tests for this cancer?
  • What is involved in testing for this cancer? What tests are used?
  • Should I be tested? Why?
  • Should my children be tested? Why?
  • How often should test(s) be done?
  • What are the risks involved with the test(s)?
  • When will the test(s) be scheduled? Is there a waiting list?
  • Who makes the arrangements or appointments for the test(s)?
  • Is there a cost for the test(s)? If so, how much?
  • Where will the test(s) be done?
  • Is any preparation needed for the test(s)?
  • How long will the test(s) take?
  • Are there any side effects to the test(s)? Is the procedure painful?
  • Who will explain the test results?
  • May I have a copy of the test results?
  • What happens if the results are not normal?
  • What other tests will need to be done? Why?

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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