Questions to be asked during neuroblastoma

The caregivers of the patients with neuroblastoma (NBL) need to have open discussions with the doctor or the cancer care team. The parents and the caregivers of the NBL patients should ask any question, no matter how minor it might seem. Here are some questions patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma might want to ask:

Questions to be asked to the health care provider

  • What kinds of tests should be performed for the detection of NBL?
  • What treatments are available for NBL?
  • How will NBL affect the life of my child?
  • How many types of NBL are there?
  • Which type of NBL is more fatal?
  • Which stage is the NBL? What does this indicate?
  • Can it be detected before the birth of the children?
  • Will the detection of NBL in children create any risk during child delivery?
  • Is NBL curable? If yes, then what are the chances of a cure? If not, then can it be kept under control?
  • Can the treatment be started before the delivery of the child?
  • What are my treatment options? Which one would you recommend?
  • What types of scans and tests will be required to be performed? For how long and how often will it be required?
  • If my child has symptoms of NBL and we are not sure whether those symptoms are due to another illness or NBL, what should be done in such a case?
  • What is the possibility of cancer relapse? If it does, after how many years can it be expected? What will be the symptoms during cancer relapse?
  • How long will the child need to take anticancer medicines and treatment?
  • Will my child be able to live a healthy life if fully cured?
  • When can my child resume immunizations?
  • Are flu shots recommended for NBL patients?
  • What are the symptoms and side-effects expected after the completion of the treatment?
  • Will my child face problems in school after therapy? What problems can be expected?
  • Do I need to get a second opinion before starting my child’s treatment? Can you recommend a doctor or cancer centre?
  • Will the child be able to play and walk like other children?
  • Will there be any mental or cognitive issues due to NBL?
  • How soon should the treatment start?
  • What preparation do we need before the treatment?
  • How long does the treatment last?
  • What are the short-term side effects of the treatment? Can you do something about them?
  • What long term side effects can be expected?
  • How do we know that the treatment is working?
  • Can anything be done to manage the side effects?
  • What side effects or symptoms should we look for in a child and report immediately?

Questions to ask about planning follow-up care

  • What type of follow-up will be required after treatment?
  • What are the chances of cancer relapse? Should we look for any particular signs or symptoms?
  • What symptoms should we pay attention to?
  • What are the additional tests required, and how often?
  • How do we know if my cancer has recurred in my child? If so, what are my chances?
  • Who will guide the future treatment of my child?
  • How do we get the Treatment Summary and Survival Management Plan to be kept in our record?
  • What support services options are available to my child and my family members?
  • How often do we need to bring our child for tests, check-ups and scans? How long do we need to bring him for follow-up care?
  • Do we need to consult the oncology team during routine illnesses of the child?
  • What long-term follow-up plan is suggested for the child?
  • Are there any resources available for adult-based care when my child becomes a young adult?