Questions to ask your doctor

Preparing for appointments with your doctor can help you get the most out of your appointment. Take some time to think through what you want to tell your doctor. And to plan the questions you would like to ask them.

Don’t be afraid to ask more questions if you don’t understand any points the doctor makes. And take someone along with you for support if that will be helpful.

If you have more questions following your appointment, you can also call the British Liver Trust's nurse-led helpline on 0800 652 7330.

Each set of questions has a printable PDF with space for you to note down your own questions. As well as space for other information such as a list of medication and details about your symptoms.

  • I’m worried I might be at risk of liver disease – can I have a blood test to check my liver?
  • How and when will I get the results of the test? Who can I contact if I don’t get them?
  • If the blood test is abnormal, are there more tests I can have to investigate further – for example, a scan of my liver?
  • What can I do myself if I’m worried about my liver? Are there changes I can make – and what could happen if I don’t make those changes?
  • Are there any dietary changes I need to make? Can I be referred to a hospital or registered dietitian if needed?

You can download and print the questions in this PDF which has space for your own questions and to make notes.

  • Do I need any further tests to find out more – for example, do I need a liver scan or any other tests?
  • Where do I go for those tests and how will they be arranged?
  • Will I be referred to a liver specialist and if so, how does that process work?
  • What can I do to help improve my liver health? Are there changes I can make - and what could happen if I don’t make those changes?
  • Do I need to be referred to a hospital registered dietitian for specific diet guidance?
  • Is it safe for me to drink alcohol if I want to?

You can download these questions in this PDF which has space for your own questions and to make notes.

  • What type of liver disease do I have?
  • How will the disease affect me physically? How will it affect my ability to do the things that are important to me (for example family life, work, hobbies)
  • Do I need further tests? Do they have any risks and who can I talk to if I'm worried about them? How and when will I get the results of the tests?
  • What are my treatment options? What are the side effects of any treatments and how can they be managed?
  • Is there anything I can do myself to stop the disease from getting worse?
  • Are there any research or clinical trials I could be part of?
  • Is there a specialist nurse I can contact for further advice and support?
  • Who should I contact if I have more questions after this appointment?
  • Can I have copies of any correspondence relating to my care?

You can download a copy of these questions in this PDF which has space for your own questions and to make notes.

  • How is the disease affecting my health now and what will happen in the future? How will it affect my ability to do the things that are important to me (for example family life, work, hobbies)?
  • Are there any symptoms I should watch out for? What should I do in an emergency if I become very unwell?
  • What monitoring tests will I have and why do I need them?
  • What options are available to me within my clinical care plan? What treatment options are available now? What are the side effects of those, if any?
  • Who is involved in making decisions and recommendations about my clinical care plan? How often will I be able to see a consultant to review my condition?
  • Who else is involved in my care? Is there a specialist nurse I can contact for further advice and support? Who is my point of contact in the liver team (including out of hours)?
  • What can do to help myself stay as healthy as possible and manage symptoms? Do I need to make changes to my diet? Can you refer me to a dietitian to advise me?
  • If the liver disease is very advanced and treatment options limited, who do I talk to about access to supportive and palliative care?
  • Can I have copies of any correspondence relating to my care?

You can download these questions in this PDF which has space for your own questions and to make notes.

  • What type of cancer is it and what stage is it at? What does that mean?
  • How will the cancer affect me physically? How will it affect my ability to do the things that are important to me (for example family life, work, hobbies)?
  • What is the management plan for my cancer? What are the likely outcomes of treatment and what are my chances of recovery?
  • What are the side effects of any treatments and how can they be managed?
  • Who will be providing my care? Who should I contact if I have any questions? Is there a specialist nurse I can contact for further advice and support?
  • Is there anything I can do myself to help my overall health?
  • What is the follow up plan for my care after cancer treatment? How often will I have follow-up appointments? Where will they be and what tests and scans will be carried out?
  • Who can I contact in the future if I'm worried?
  • (If your liver cancer cannot be successfully treated) Is there someone I can talk to about planning for my future and end of life care?

You can download these questions in this PDF which has space for your own questions and to make notes.