Esophagus Cancer Overview

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

Questions to ask your doctor about cancer of the esophagus

As you cope with cancer and its treatment, you need to have honest, open talks with your doctors. You should ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Be sure to add your own questions as you think of them.

  • Would you please write down the type of esophagus cancer I have?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond where it started?
  • What is the stage of my cancer, and what does that mean?
  • Do I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Do I need to see other doctors?
  • How often have you treated this type of cancer? What were the results?
  • Should I get a second opinion? Can you recommend a doctor or cancer center?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • What do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment?
  • What are the chances my cancer can be cured with these options?
  • What risks or side effects should I expect? How long are they likely to last?
  • Will treatment affect my ability to swallow or eat?
  • Will treatment affect my voice?
  • How soon do I need to start treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • Should I follow a special diet?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • What are the chances my cancer will come back with this treatment plan?
  • What will 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 get more information and support?

Add your own questions below:

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 to some of your questions. You can find more information about communicating with your health care team in our document Talking With Your Doctor.


Last Medical Review: 05/21/2014
Last Revised: 11/06/2014