Questions to ask healthcare about Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour

Questions to ask after a diagnosis

Questions to ask after a diagnosis about Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour

  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • Which part of the body has the tumour affected?
  • Is the tumour cancerous?
  • What does a grade mean? And what is the grade of my tumour?
  • Can you explain my pathology report?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • Does your practice include multidisciplinary care? What does this mean?
  • Should we seek genetic testing or counselling?
  • What is your familiarity with the tumour I have?

Questions to ask about treatment options for about Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour

  • 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 chances for success with the planned treatments?
  • What are the side effects of treatment, both short term and long term?
  • Can I change my mind after we start the treatment?
  • What will be the effects of the treatment on my daily life?
  • Can I work, exercise and perform my daily activities?
  • What about the cost of the treatment?

 Questions about having targeted therapy/TKIs

  • If I have surgery, should I take imatinib before surgery? For how long? What dosage? How much and how long after surgery?
  • What factors decide how effective imatinib is likely to be?
  • Will I receive this treatment at a clinic or hospital? Or will I take it at home?
  • What can I do if imatinib stops working? Can I receive sunitinib if that happens?
  • What can I do if sunitinib stops working? Can I receive regorafenib if that happens?
  • Are there other targeted therapies that may work?
  • Can I take the generic form of the prescribed drug?

Questions about Radiotherapy or Chemotherapy

  • What kind of therapy do you recommend and why? 
  • How long will it take for a treatment?
  • What side effects are 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 has 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 treatment?
  • If I avoid treatment now, can I have it later?
  • Will I get the same result if I took the treatment later?

Question about after treatment

  • What happens after treatment gets over?
  • How long will it take to return to my routine life?

Questions about cancer recurrence

  • How will we know that cancer has recurred?
  • What can be the symptoms and signs for a cancer recurrence?
  • How can we reduce the risk of recurrence?
  • What are the various ways to stay healthy after treatment?

Questions about follow-up care about Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour

  • 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 and to my family?