Help us to stop bowel cancer

Questions to ask

You might like to take a list of questions to your hospital appointment, to help you understand your options. We have suggested some possible questions here.

Before surgery

  • What is the aim of the surgery?
  • What type of operation can I have?
  • What are the benefits and risks?
  • Where will I have the operation?
  • Who will treat me? How much experience do they have of this type of surgery?
  • Can you tell me about the outcomes and success rates of surgery in this unit?
  • Do you offer an enhanced recovery programme? What does this involve?
  • How long will I be in hospital before and after the operation?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • Will I need a stoma? How long for?
  • What other options are there if I don’t want to have surgery?

After surgery

  • When will I find out what stage the cancer is? (What size it is and whether it has spread)
  • What follow-up appointments will I have and what will they be for?
  • Will I need any further treatment? If yes, when will this start?
  • Will you send details of my treatment (called a treatment summary) to my GP? Can I have a copy?
  • What support is available after surgery?


Download our pdf document of questions to ask before and after surgery here.  

Updated March 2016. Due for review March 2019