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?”

Bob and Jan Haase
Appendiceal Cancer Survivor, Michigan

"I have learned more and have received more guidance from my nurse consultant than I have from any of the physicians, oncologists, radiologists an books combined during my entire journey. And for free! The confidential portal allows me to communicate online from work. I am thankful for this lifelong resource."
- Jeannette R.
Breast Cancer Survivor, North Carolina