by Carson-DeWitt R

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with thyroid cancer. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to 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 give more details.
  • Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Do not be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Your Risk of Getting Thyroid Cancer
  • Do I have any specific risk for thyroid cancer?
  • Is my family history important? Should I have genetic studies?
  • How much risk do I have of getting thyroid cancer?
  • Are there any risk factors that I can change?
About Thyroid Cancer
  • What exactly is thyroid cancer?
  • What makes you think I might have thyroid cancer?
  • Could you explain the tests I need?
  • How accurate are the test results?
  • When do you advise screening in my children?
  • What is the outlook or chance of relapse?
About Treatment Options
  • What kinds of treatments are right for me?
  • Will I need more than one type of treatment?
  • How long will my treatments last?
  • What are possible side effects/complications of the treatments? What are some ways to manage them?
  • What is the chance that treatments will cure my thyroid cancer?
  • How will we know if the treatments have been effective or not?
  • During treatment, will I be able to do my usual activities?
About Lifestyle Changes
  • What lifestyle changes will make my body stronger and help me fight thyroid cancer?
  • What lifestyle changes might make me more comfortable while I go through treatment?
  • Do you advise any support groups for me and my family?
About Outlook
  • How extensive is my cancer?
  • Is it confined to the thyroid, or is it elsewhere in my body as well?
  • What outlook does my kind of thyroid cancer have?
  • How do my other medical conditions affect my outlook?
  • After treatments, what will we do to monitor whether the cancer returns?
  • Is my family at risk for thyroid cancer?


Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Accessed April 20, 2022.

Questions to ask your doctor about cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Accessed April 20, 2022.

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