Be involved in treatment decisions

Partner with your doctor to feel confident in decisions about your care

Deciding on Your Cancer Treatment Plan

Use these simple but important steps to talk with your doctor so you feel prepared to start your treatment plan.

Take steps to have a voice in your care

This is your cancer journey, no one else’s. Follow these steps to decide how you want to be involved in making decisions about your care and treatment.

Set Your Ground Rules

Step 1: Set your ground rules

  • What and how much do you want to know? Every person is different. Some want to know what exactly treatment involves, and others don’t. Tell your doctor if you do or don’t want to know the details.
  • How do you want to make treatment decisions? Some people prefer to take the lead in making decisions with their doctor, while others may want to turn all decisions over to their doctor. Some people may also want to include family or friends to help them decide. Talk to your doctor about who you want to take part in treatment conversations.
Discuss Your Cancer Treatment Goals

Step 2: Discuss your treatment goals

Knowing what you hope to get out of treatment can help narrow down your choices:

  • Cure: When first diagnosed, many people are interested in learning if a cure is possible.
  • Control: Treatments are available that may help to shrink tumors or stop the cancer from growing or spreading.
  • Comfort: For those with advanced stages of cancer or cancer that hasn’t responded to the treatment, being comfortable may be more important than treating the cancer. You can discuss options for managing symptoms with your doctor.

The type of cancer you have, the stage, and available treatment options also play a part in choosing the treatment goal.

Write Down Your Questions Before Your Doctor Visit

Write down your questions before your doctor visit

Take your time when making treatment decisions. It may feel like you need to make a decision to begin treatment right away, but it’s important you talk with your doctor and get answers to any of your questions.

Check out questions to ask your doctor

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