Questions to Ask About Treatment for Stomach Cancer
At first, the information you learn about your treatment options may seem overwhelming. You may ease the stress by allowing yourself the time to gather as much information as possible about your disease and its treatment. Then you can discuss the issues with your doctors, nurses, and loved ones.
You may find it helpful to make a list of your questions before seeing your doctor. Use the list of questions below as a starting place for the questions you might ask. To make it easier to remember what your doctor says, take notes during meetings or ask if you can record the conversations. It may also help to have a family member or friend with you to take part in the discussion, take notes, or just listen:
What is the success rate of this particular treatment for my type and stage of stomach cancer?
What are the goals of treatment? Are we trying to get rid of the cancer for good (curative treatment)? Or, are we trying to slow the cancer down or prevent it from causing symptoms (palliative treatment)?
Now is the time to be very honest with yourself about the side effects you can and cannot tolerate. Your first impulse may be to choose the treatment that destroys your cancer at any cost. However, once your cancer is gone, the side effects of the treatment may become more bothersome than you thought. It is your doctor’s duty to tell you what those side effects may be before the treatment, but it’s up to you to think about them seriously before making a decision.