What questions should I be asking my medical professional?

Doctor/Patient Relationship

  • Lung cancer does not get the same public empathy as other cancers
  • Affects the patient experience producing feelings of guilt, fear and blame

In a healthcare setting a stigma leads to:

  • An avoidance or delay in seeking treatment or a second opinion
  • Increased illness-related distress
  • Anxiety, depression, isolationism, hopelessness
  • Relationship conflict
  • Lack of illness disclosure
  • Reduced social support
  • Lower quality of care


  • Low survival rate
  • Late onset of symptoms
  • Lack of overall public knowledge
  • Strong link to tobacco use

What questions to ask

  1.  What type of lung cancer do I have?
  2. What type of doctors will I need to take care of me for this problem?
  3. How much experience do they and the facility have with this problem?
  4. What test do I need to determine how far the cancer has spread and what treatment I need?
  5. What is the stage of my lung cancer and what does this mean for my treatment?
  6. What are my treatment options? Which do you believe are the best ones, and why?
  7. How may I go about getting a second opinion on my diagnosis and treatment options?
  8. What is a clinical trial and should I enter one?
  9. Are you board certified?
  10. How do you keep up to date on current treatments?
  11. How many times have you performed this specific surgery [if surgery is being recommended]?
  12. Can I talk with other patients who have had the same or similar surgery [or treatments]?
  13. Are you willing to answer my questions during doctor visits? Outside of doctor visits?
  14. Will you answer my questions directly?
  15. Will you return my phone calls in a timely manner?
  16. Are you willing to honor my personal decision-making style?
  17. Do you accept my insurance?
  18. Who provides backup care if you are out of town or unavailable? Are they board certified?
  19. Do you participate in clinical trials?

Get More in at Lungevity.org