Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Stomach Cancer

When you're told you have stomach cancer

  • What kind of stomach cancer do I have?
  • Where is the cancer in my stomach?
  • 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?
  • Will I need to see other doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Based on what you’ve learned about my cancer, what is my prognosis (outlook)?

When deciding on a treatment plan

  • What treatment choices do I have?
  • What do you recommend and why?
  • What is the goal of treatment (to cure the cancer, slow its growth, ease symptoms, etc.)?
  • Are there any clinical trials I should think about now?
  • Should I get a second opinion? How do I do that? Can you recommend someone?
  • How quickly do we need to decide on treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest? How long are they likely to last?
  • How will treatment affect my daily life? Will it affect the way I eat?

During treatment

  • How will we know if the treatment is working?
  • Is there anything I can do to help manage side effects?
  • What symptoms or side effects should I tell you about right away?
  • How can I reach you on nights, holidays, or weekends?
  • Do I need to change what I eat during treatment?
  • Are there any limits on what I can do?
  • Should I exercise? What should I do, and how often?
  • Can you suggest a mental health professional I can see if I start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, or distressed?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

After treatment

  • Are there any limits on what I can do?
  • What symptoms should I watch for?
  • What kind of exercise should I do now?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
  • How often will I need to have follow-up exams and tests?
  • How will we know if the cancer has come back? What should I watch for?
  • What will my options be if the cancer comes back?
  • What would my options be if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer recurs?
  • Where can I find more information and support?

Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down some of your own.

Keep in mind that doctors aren’t the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, can answer some of your questions. To find more about speaking with your health care team, see Talking With Your Doctor.

 

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: May 20, 2014 Last Revised: February 10, 2016

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