Questions to Ask your Doctor about Radiation

Most of us know very little about radiation therapy, except maybe what we’ve seen in movies or television, or read in books. Here are some questions to ask to make sure you fully understand your radiation treatment.

But first one very important tip: If possible, please bring someone with you to your appointment. You will be hearing a lot of new information. A second set of ears and someone to take notes will be very helpful. If you don’t have someone to go with you, please contact Forge’s Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205) 990-5367 or [email protected]. She may be able to match you with a peer mentor who has had breast cancer, too, and can go with you to your appointment.


  1. Why do I need radiation therapy?
  2. How many radiation treatments will I have? When should I start? Will I need someone to go with me?
  3. How long will each radiation treatment take? Who will give me radiation treatments?
  4. How is radiation given?
  5. If I choose to have my breast reconstructed, do I still need radiation?
  6. What can I do to prepare for my treatment (i.e., wear a two-piece outfit)?
  7. What are the possible side effects of radiation? How long will they last? What side effects should I report to you?
  8. What are the long-term risks of this treatment?
  9. Can I continue normal activities (work, sex, sports, etc.) during treatment? After treatment?
  10. How often should I return to see you after my radiation treatments end? Which doctor should I see?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Forge’s Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205)990-5367 or [email protected].

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