Overview of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Talking with your health care team is vital in understanding your Diagnosis, treatment strategy and post-treatment care. This will aid you to make informed choices about your treatment plan. Openly communicate any query you have regarding your condition and ask additional questions Questions to the healthcare team and clear your doubts.

Some of the primary, essential questions to ask your health care team are as follows:

Questions to ask after getting your Diagnosis

  • What is the type of cancerous growth/tumor?
  • Where is the exact location of the tumor?
  • What do you mean by stage and grade of tumor? Can you describe the stage and grade of my cancer?
  • Is it a benign tumor or an aggressive malignant one?
  • Can we predict the future behavior of this cancer?
  • Could you explain in detail my laboratory test results or pathology report to me?
  • Was my biopsy reviewed by a pathologist experienced in diagnosing salivary diseases? 

Questions to ask your surgeon regarding surgical procedures

  • How often do you see people diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC)?
  • What is your experience in conducting surgeries related to this cancer condition?
  • What are the available surgical procedures to eliminate this tumor?
  • How often do you do this type of surgical procedure?
  • What are some of the problems or complications that your patients have experienced?
  • What can I expect after my surgery?
  • Will there be any side effects of the treatment?
  • Whom/Where should I contact if I experience any side effects, and how soon?
  • What are the possible short term and long-term side effects of having this surgery?
  • Will I need other types of treatment after this surgery? If so, when will I know that I need another round of treatment to cure this cancer?

Questions to ask the healthcare team while choosing the treatment plans

  • What are the available treatment options to treat Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma? 
  • What treatment plan do you recommend for my condition, and why?
  • Are there any clinical trials available for my disease condition? If yes, where are they located, and how can I find out about them? 
  • What is the aim of each treatment? Is it to destroy the tumor or to help me feel better, or both?
  • Who will all be part of my health care team, and what will each member’s function be?
  • How many years of experience do these specialists have in treating adenoid cystic carcinoma?
  • Who will be leading the entire treatment?

Questions to ask about managing and curing the treatment side effects

  • What are the possible side effects of a particular treatment in treating adenoid cystic carcinoma? Explain both the short term and the long-term side effects?
  • What will all changes happen to me and my body after treatment? Will my appearance change? If yes, in what way and for how long? 
  • Will I need reconstructive surgery or other treatment procedures to gain my appearance back?
  • Will there be problems relating to eating or saliva production post-treatment? If so, when and for how long?
  • Should I talk with an oncologic dentist before the treatment begins?
  • Is it required to have a meeting with a speech pathologist before the treatment process?
  • In what all ways will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to perform daily activities like work, exercise, and other usual activities?
  • How can I manage the costs of cancer treatment? Is there anywhere I can seek financial assistance?
  •  What can I do to keep myself as healthy and fit as possible during the treatment course?
  • Will this treatment affect my sex life? If so, in what ways and for how long?
  • Could this treatment affect my ability to conceive and have children? If that is the case, should I talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?
  • If I have any more queries or doubts, who should I call or consult?
  • Is there a possibility that cancer may recur in the future? Should I look for any specific symptoms or signs of recurrence? 
  • Based on the cancer treatment I received, what late effects or long-term side effects I am likely to experience?
  • What type of follow-up tests would be required? How often will those tests/scans be required?
  • How can I get a survivorship care plan and treatment summary to keep in my records? 
  • Who will be leading my follow-up care after adenoid cystic carcinoma treatment?
  • What are the survivorship support services available for me, as well as for my family?