What should you ask your doctor about cancer of the esophagus?
It is important for you to have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how minor you might think they are. Some questions to consider:
- What kind of esophageal cancer do I have?
- Has my cancer spread beyond the primary site?
- What is the stage of my cancer, and what does that mean in my case?
- Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
- Are there other doctors I need to see?
- How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
- What treatment choices do I have?
- What treatment(s) do you recommend and why?
- What is the goal of the treatment?
- What are the chances my cancer can be cured with these options?
- What are the risks or side effects that I should expect? How long are they likely to last?
- How quickly do we need to decide on treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Will I have special nutritional needs due to the esophageal cancer?
- How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
- What would we do if the treatment doesn't work or if the cancer recurs?
- What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
- Where can I find more information and support?
Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so you can plan your work or activity schedule. You may also want to ask about second opinions or about clinical trials for which you may qualify.
Keep in mind that doctors are not the only ones who can provide you with information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers you seek.
Last Medical Review: 12/10/2012
Last Revised: 01/18/2013