Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Most people with paraneoplastic syndrome experience neurological problems before having any indication of cancer or receiving a cancer diagnosis. Therefore you're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor about your symptoms. You may then be referred to a specialist in nervous system disorders (neurologist) or a cancer specialist (oncologist).

Questions from your doctor

If you have any of these symptoms, it will be helpful to bring a friend or family member to your appointment. Your doctor may ask the following questions:

  • Have you had any muscle weakness or lack of coordination?
  • Have you had any unusual or involuntary muscle movements?
  • Have you had any vision problems?
  • Do you have any problems chewing, swallowing or speaking?
  • Do you have any difficulty breathing?
  • Have you had any seizures? How long have they lasted?
  • Have you experienced dizziness or nausea?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping, or have your sleep patterns changed?
  • Are you having difficulty performing everyday tasks with your hands?
  • Have you had any numbness or tingling in your limbs?
  • Have you had a significant change in mood?
  • Have you been seeing or hearing things that others are not aware of?
  • Have you had any memory problems?
  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have your symptoms become worse?
  • Have you been diagnosed with cancer?
  • What medications do you take, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements? What are the daily dosages?
  • Have any close relatives had cancer? If so, what types?
  • Have you ever smoked?
  • Do you or does anyone in your family have some form of autoimmune disease?

Questions for your doctor

Questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • What diagnostic tests will you order?
  • Which specialists will I need to see?
  • How soon am I likely to complete the tests and get results?
  • How will you communicate results to me?
  • What are you looking for in the tests?
  • What conditions are you trying to rule out?
April 30, 2014