NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Stomach Cancer, Version 1.2016
In 2010, at age 59, I was diagnosed with metastatic Stage IV gastric adenocarcinoma (T4bN3bM1).
My prognosis was bad, and I thought that I was a hopeless case. Fortunately, I have been treated at
a National Comprehensive Cancer Network Hospital. Five years later, I am, much to my amazement,
alive and feeling well, with no evidence of disease.
My treatment has included partial gastrectomy, oral and IV chemotherapy, radiation therapy and
targeted therapy. My tumor expressed the HER-2 antigen, leading to my being treated with the
targeted treatment trastuzumab (Herceptin). Trastuzumab had been approved for treatment of HER-
2+ breast cancer since 1997, but was approved for HER-2+ stomach cancer only a few weeks before
I was diagnosed. I am continuing to receive infusions of it every three weeks and continue to be
followed up at my NCCN hospital.
During my treatment, I have had most of the possible side effects, particularly nausea. I have received
most of the possible medications for side effects and eventually found treatments that alleviated my
side effects. Although the side effects were serious, I now, of course, consider them a small price to
have had to pay.
Being diagnosed with stomach cancer is a terrible thing, but it is no longer a death sentence. I am
very, very glad that you will have access, like I did, to the full range of treatments now available. I
am also very, very happy that you have access to this wonderful booklet to help you understand the
diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
Stage IV Cancer Survivor
Professor at Michigan State University Colleges of Medicine
Founder, East Michigan
Chapter of Debbie's Dream Foundation