Talking to Your Doctor about Cervical Cancer

Talk openly and often with your healthcare provider. It will help you make the best choices for your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will help you talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get. Make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Ask where you can learn more. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask

About Cervical Cancer

  • What type of cervical cancer do I have?
  • What is the stage of my cancer? How does that affect my treatment options?
  • How will you know if the cancer has spread ?

About Your Risk of Developing Cervical Cancer

  • Do I have an increased risk of cervical cancer?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of cervical cancer?

About Treatment

  • What treatments are used with cervical cancer?
  • What treatment is right for me? Why?
  • How long will my treatment last?
  • What risks and side effects should I watch for?
  • Will it affect my normal activities?
  • Will it affect sex?
  • Will I be able to have children after my treatment?
  • What is likely to happen without treatment?
  • What medicines are available to me?
    • What are the benefits/side effects of these medicines?
    • Will these medicines interact with other medicines, products, or supplements that I am taking?
  • Are there any natural or alternative therapies that will help me?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Do I need to be on a special diet or change the way I eat?
  • Should I begin an exercise program?
    • What kind of exercise is best?
    • How often should I exercise?
  • Should I stop drinking alcohol?
  • How can I find help to quit smoking?

About Outlook

  • Can you advise some support groups for my family and me?
  • What are the chances my cancer will come back after treatment?
  • How will I know that my treatment has been effective?
  • What is my expected outlook?
  • How often will I need checkups?
REFERENCES:

Cervical cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/cervical-cancer. Accessed on April 19, 2021.

Hu Z, Ma D. The precision prevention and therapy of HPV-related cervical cancer: new concepts and clinical implications. Cancer Med. 2018 Oct;7(10):5217-5236.

Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed April 19, 2021.

What should you ask your doctor about ovarian cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/talking-with-your-doctor.html. Accessed April 19, 2021.

Last reviewed March 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 4/19/2021