Questions to ask your Healthcare Team about esophageal cancer

When making up your mind about esophageal cancer treatment, you must know every detail about the treatment you opt for. It would be best to ask esophageal cancer questions about anything about cancer that you don’t understand.

Don’t forget to ask the healthcare team questions during and after the treatment

Questions to ask after diagnosis

  • What type of esophageal cancer do I have?
  • Is cancer located only in my esophagus?
  • Can you explain my pathology report to me?

Questions to ask about treatment options

  • What are my treatment options?
  • Which treatment option do you recommend?
  • What is the goal of treatment? Is it to eliminate cancer, help me feel better, or both?
  • What are the success chances with the planned treatments?
  • What are the side effects of treatment, both short term and long term?
  • Can we change our minds after we start the treatment?
  • What will be the effects of the treatment on my daily life?
  • Can I work, exercise and perform his daily activities?
  • What about the cost of the treatment?

Questions about Radiotherapy or Chemotherapy

  • What kind of therapy do you suggest and why? 
  • How long will it take for a treatment?
  • What side are effects expected during and after the treatment?
  • What are the long term effects of the treatment?
  • How can you prevent or reduce these effects? 

Questions to ask about surgery

  • What type of surgery will I have?
  • How many procedures of this type have the surgeon done?
  • How long will the operation last?
  • Is the surgery safe?
  • How long do I need to stay in the hospital?
  • What are the short-term and long-term effects of the surgery?

Taking part in a clinical trial

  • Is there any clinical trial available currently I can take part in? 
  • How does being a part of the trial change my treatment option?
  • What is the aim and background of this trial?

Choosing not to have treatment

  • Can we opt not to have any treatment?
  • What are the possibilities if we decide not to take any medicine?
  • If we avoid treatment now, can he have it later?
  • Would the aim and result be the same if I took the treatment later?
  • What are the recommended treatment options for my specific case?
  • What are the potential benefits and risks of each treatment option?
  • Are there any clinical trials or experimental treatments available that may be suitable for me?
  • How will treatment affect my daily life and quality of life?
  • Can you explain the potential side effects and how they will be managed?

Question about Treatment plans

  • What is the timeline for my treatment?
  • How will my treatment plan be personalized to my specific needs?
  • Which healthcare professionals will be involved in my care, and what are their roles?
  • How often will I need to come for treatment and follow-up visits?
  • What support services are available to help me cope with the physical and emotional challenges of treatment?

Question about after treatment

  • What happens after treatment finishes?
  • How long will it take to live everyday life?

Questions about cancer recurrence

  • How will we know that cancer has come back?
  • What can be the symptoms and signs of a cancer recurrence?
  • How can we reduce the risk of cancer coming back?
  • What is an approach to staying healthy after treatment?

Questions about follow-up care

  • What are the follow-up tests?
  • How regularly do I need to visit the oncologist?
  • Who will have my treatment summary, and how can I take them and a survivorship care plan to keep in my records?
  • Which survivorship support services are available to me? To my family?

Question about Diagnosis and Staging:

  • What type of esophageal cancer do I have?
  • What is the stage of my cancer, and what does that mean?
  • Can you explain the pathology report and the specific characteristics of my tumor?

Question about Prognosis and Expectations:

  • What is the expected outcome of my treatment?
  • Are there any factors that may impact my prognosis?
  • What are the chances of the cancer returning or spreading?
  • Can you provide information about survivorship and long-term follow-up care?

Question about Lifestyle and Supportive Care:

  • Are there any specific dietary recommendations or restrictions I should follow?
  • Are there any complementary or alternative therapies that may be beneficial for me?
  • How can I manage symptoms and side effects at home?
  • Can you provide information about support groups or counseling services for patients and their families?