NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Esophageal Cancer - page 80

80
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Esophageal Cancer
Version 1.2013
Part 7: Accepting a treatment plan
7.1 Benefits of a treatment plan
Learning you have cancer starts an unplanned journey
to an unknown place. A treatment plan is like having a
roadmap for your journey. It is a written course of action
through treatment and beyond. It can help you, your
loved ones, and your treatment team. A treatment plan is
useful for:
• Starting and guiding talks about treatment,
• Teaching what the treatment choices are,
• Informing everyone of the decisions made,
• Reminding everyone of the decisions made,
• Pinpointing who is in charge of each part of care,
• Controlling stress,
• Knowing what to expect,
• Changing from one doctor to another,
• Improving contact among your doctors, and
• Providing care for all issues.
7.2 Parts of a treatment plan
A treatment plan addresses all cancer care needs while
respecting your beliefs, wishes, and values. It is likely to
change and expand as you go through treatment. The
plan will include the role of your doctors and how you can
help yourself. A treatment plan often has the following
parts:
Cancer information
Cancer can greatly differ even when people have a tumor
in the same organ. Test results that describe the cancer
are reported in the treatment plan. Such test results
include the cancer site, cell type, and cancer stage. See
Parts 2 and 3 for the tests used for esophageal cancer.
Your treatment team
Cancer care is a team effort. Who is on your team
depends on the treatments you choose. Surgeons and
radiation oncologists give local treatments. Medical
oncologists give systemic treatments. Your primary care
doctor can also be part of your team. He or she can help
you express your feelings about treatments to the team.
Treatment of other medical problems may be improved if
your primary care doctor is informed about your cancer
care. Besides doctors, you may receive care from nurses,
social workers, nutritionists, and other health experts. Ask
to have the names and contact information of your health
care providers included in the treatment plan.
Cancer treatment
There is no single treatment practice that is best for all
patients. There is often more than one treatment option
along with clinical trial options. Clinical trials study how
well a treatment works and its safety. Treatment planning
takes many factors into account, such as:
• The TNM scores,
• Location of the tumor,
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