What may help

Ask questions

It may be helpful to ask your doctor or oncologist questions such as:

  • How will chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery affect the size of the cancer?
  • Will palliative chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery give me more time? If so, how much?
  • What are the potential benefits for me?
  • What are the main side-effects and will I feel better or worse?
  • Are there other options, such as hospice or palliative care?


The internet can be a helpful tool when it comes to researching other treatments, vaccines and clinical trials. But, always be wary of the credibility and accuracy of the information. Ask your doctor or specialist for their thoughts on any information you gather.

The results of clinical trials are often published in medical journals – such as the Medical Journal of Australia – many of which are available online.

Some research organisations advertise for trial participants, so keep an eye on the notice boards at the hospital you attend. It is also worth checking if your doctor, oncologist or other specialists have been approached by researchers looking for trial participants.

For more information

Up-to-date information on clinical trials can be found at:

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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015