Talking to Your Healthcare Provider about Stomach Cancer
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
- Do I have any specific risk factors for stomach cancer?
- How much of a risk of developing stomach cancer do I face?
- Are there any risk factors that I can change?
- What makes you think I might have stomach cancer?
- How can we determine whether or not I have stomach cancer?
- Could you explain the tests I need?
- How accurate are the test results?
- What kinds of treatments are appropriate for me?
- Will I need more than one type of treatment?
- How long will my treatments last?
- What are the potential side effects/complications of the treatments?
- What is the chance that the recommended treatments will cure my stomach cancer?
- How will we know whether the treatments have been effective or not?
- While I’m receiving treatment for stomach cancer, will I be able to participate in my usual activities?
- Can you help me weigh out the benefit of the treatments versus the effect they may have on my quality of life?
- What kinds of lifestyle changes can I make to help my body be stronger and healthier, so that I can work with the treatments to fight stomach cancer?
- What kinds of lifestyle changes might make me more comfortable while I’m going through treatments?
- Do you have recommendations for any support groups for my family and me as we go through this?
- Is my cancer confined to the stomach, or is it elsewhere in my body as well?
- What kind of prognosis does my kind of stomach cancer have?
- How do my other medical conditions affect my prognosis?
- Once I’ve completed treatments, what will we do to monitor for a return of the cancer?
Cecil Textbook of Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 738-741.
Conn’s Current Therapy 2002. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 527-529.
Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 1998: 733-749.
What is stomach cancer? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/ . Accessed December 2002.
What you need to know about stomach cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/stomach . Accessed December 2002.
- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/17/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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