Questions For Your Doctor: Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for advanced prostate cancer. If chemotherapy is a treatment option for you, use this list of questions to ask your doctor so you have the information you need.


Chemotherapy is a treatment that is used to kill cancer cells. It is either given intravenously (through the veins) or orally (as a pill). Chemotherapy is a type of systemic treatment. This means it travels through the bloodstream to affect all of the body’s cells. Because chemotherapy affects healthy cells, it can cause significant side effects.

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for advanced prostate cancer. It is often given in combination with hormone therapy or after hormone therapy stops working. It is sometimes used along with hormone therapy in patients with very high risk early stage prostate cancer. Possible side effects of chemotherapy include fatigue, hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, numbness or weakness in fingers/toes, mouth sores, confusion, higher risk for infection, and headaches. QUESTIONS FOR YOUR DOCTOR Why are you recommending chemotherapy? What is the goal of treatment? Is this standard of care or have you modified the approach for my situation? When should I begin chemotherapy? What will my treatment schedule be? How soon will we know it is working? How will we measure success, failure, and/or progression? Will I need other treatments during or after chemotherapy? If so, when? How will the chemotherapy be given? Where will I go for treatments? Will I need someone to go with me? How will it affect my lifestyle/quality of life during treatment? After treatment? How can my side effects be managed? What side effects should I report to you? Who can I call if I need help immediately? What steps can I take to be active and healthy during and after treatment? What type of support will I need from my caregiver or others? What help will you provide? What other support is available? From where? How much does this cost? Are there cheaper options? How can I find support and resources to help pay for my cancer treatment?

Consider using a notebook at your appointments and taking someone with you if you can.

Many people seek second opinions to explore all options. Seeking a second opinion is common and doing so can make you feel more confident in the treatment decision that you make. CONSIDER A SECOND OPINION?

LEARN MORE We encourage you to use this information in conversations with your healthcare team about prostate cancer and related topics. For more information about prostate cancer and ZERO Prostate Cancer, visit our website . ZERO Prostate Cancer provides this information as a service. It is not intended to take the place of medical professionals or the recommendations of your healthcare team. We strongly suggest consulting your healthcare team if you have questions about your specific care.

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