NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Stomach Cancer, Version 1.2016
Making treatment decisions
Weighing your options
Weighing your options
Deciding which option is best can be hard. Doctors
from different fields of medicine may have different
opinions on which option is best for you. This can be
very confusing. Your spouse or partner may disagree
with which option you want. This can be stressful. In
some cases, one option hasn’t been shown to work
better than another, so science isn’t helpful. Some
ways to decide on treatment are discussed next.
The time around a cancer diagnosis is very stressful.
People with cancer often want to get treated as soon
as possible. They want to make their cancer go
away before it spreads farther. While cancer can’t be
ignored, there is time to think about and choose which
option is best for you.
You may wish to have another doctor review your test
results and suggest a treatment plan. This is called
getting a 2
opinion. You may completely trust your
doctor, but a 2
opinion on which option is best can
Copies of the pathology report, a DVD of the imaging
tests, and other test results need to be sent to the
doctor giving the 2
opinion. Some people feel
uneasy asking for copies from their doctors. However,
opinion is a normal part of cancer care.
When doctors have cancer, most will talk with more
than one doctor before choosing their treatment.
What’s more, some health plans require a 2
If your health plan doesn’t cover the cost of a 2
opinion, you have the choice of paying for it yourself.
If the two opinions are the same, you may feel more
at peace about the treatment you accept to have.
If the two opinions differ, think about getting a 3
opinion. A 3
opinion may help you decide between
your options. Choosing your cancer treatment is a
very important decision. It can affect your length and
quality of life.
Besides talking to health experts, it may help to talk
to patients who have walked in your shoes. Support
groups often consist of people at different stages of
treatment. Some may be in the process of deciding
while others may be finished with treatment. At
support groups, you can ask questions and hear
about the experiences of other people with stomach
Compare benefits and downsides
Every option has benefits and downsides. Consider
these when deciding which option is best. Talking
to others can help pinpoint benefits and downsides
you haven’t thought of. Scoring each factor from 0
to 10 can also help since some factors may be more
important to you than others.