Stomach Cancer Treatment – How to Choose a Doctor
Last updated date: 04-Jan-2022
7 mins read
Nobody ever wants to be told that they’re suffering with cancer yet statistically 1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer at some point in their lifetime. Now, does this mean that 50% of the world’s population will definitely get cancer in their lifetime? Of course not, but statistically it is a risk.
Whereas years ago a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence, thanks to the breakthroughs in scientific research and modern medicine, nowadays it is possible to make a full recovery and to go on to live a healthy, long, prosperous and happy life. The key is to act fast.
If you are diagnosed with stomach cancer for example, the sooner you can go on to receive treatment, the more likely you will be to make a full recovery. The problem is knowing which countries and hospitals to consider for stomach cancer treatment.
Stomach cancer survival rate stats are much higher if you begin treatment right away, so here’s a look at what you can do to choose a doctor and treatment centre for your stomach cancer symptoms.
What is stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer is a disease which is characterized by abnormal formation of cells which form within the stomach. Stomach cancer causes are not fully understood as there are so many to consider, yet what we do know is that it is a disease which can affect numerous parts of the stomach and digestive system.
Despite there being a number of possible stomach cancer causes, experts are not certain what causes it as there are so many variables to consider.
Stomach cancer begins when a single cell in the stomach mutates and finds that its DNA has been altered. The DNA is where instructions for the cell telling it what to do and how to function is stored, so essentially, these mutations recode the cell and tell it to act differently.
The cell is tricked into regrowing and multiplying whereas ordinarily it should die if it was previously healthy. As the cells multiply, they form a cancerous tumour which is able to attack healthy tissues. To make matters worse, if allowed to accumulate enough, clusters of these cells can break off and spread to other parts of the body.
While there are no obvious causes of stomach cancer, some risk factors include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Poor diet
- Drug use
- Lack of nutrients
- Stomach polyps
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- And more…
How to choose the right doctor to treat your stomach cancer
Now that we understand more about stomach cancer, and we know some of the more common stomach cancer risk factors, in order to manage our stomach cancer symptoms, it’s important to begin treatment as quickly as possible.
Stomach cancer survival rate stats are much more favourable if people begin treatment right away and seek treatment from skilled and qualified doctors and medical experts.
To help you do precisely that, here’s a look at how to choose the right doctor to treat your stomach cancer.
Find out whether they specialize in cancer care
When choosing a doctor to treat your stomach cancer symptoms, one of the first things you need to consider is whether or not they specialize in cancer care.
Obviously, as cancer is such a serious illness, when choosing a doctor to treat you, ideally you want a specialist that specializes in cancer at the very least. Going one step further, as there are so many different types of cancer out there, a doctor specializing in stomach cancer treatment would be even better.
When you are making your enquiries, find out whether or not the doctor in question specializes in stomach cancer.
Home or abroad?
Another consideration when it comes to stomach cancer treatment is deciding whether or not you wish to receive your treatment at home, or overseas.
Remember, when dealing with stomach cancer, we could literally be talking about a heavy care, and if you are confident that you have found overseas medical experts and treatment facilities in another country, you may wish to consider heading abroad to receive treatment.
Are there language barriers?
Okay, so assuming that you have indeed decided to make use of medical treatment abroad and have found an overseas facility with doctors you feel comfortable with allowing to treat your stomach cancer, the next consideration is language barriers.
Stomach cancer is an incredibly distressing disease, and you will no doubt have numerous questions to ask, and will also want to be kept in the loop and updated every step of the way.
If you find a doctor that struggles to speak English very well, or if they perhaps have a very thick accent that you can’t understand, or they can’t understand you, this could prove to be quite a big problem.
When it comes to stomach cancer treatment, communication is key and if your doctor isn’t able to communicate with you very well, or vice versa, you might wish to look elsewhere, or make alternative arrangements.
How many cases have they treated?
When deciding on stomach cancer care and treatment, you’re literally talking about your health and your life, so you need to know that you are in the safest possible hands.
When you have narrowed down your search and have found a number of possible candidates which you feel could be suitable for your treatment, go ahead and find out how many cases like yours they have treated.
If they have treated a lot of patients with stomach cancer, or similar ailments, this could help to set your mind at ease because you know that they will have experience. However, it is also worth finding out their success rates.
If they have a low success rate, this may be a bit of a red flag so you might wish to continue looking for an expert to help treat your stomach cancer symptoms.
What is their bedside manner like?
Okay, we understand that when it comes to stomach cancer, as it is life and death you don’t necessarily want a “yes man” who will tell you what you want to hear and who will mollycoddle you and tell you that everything is fine and there’s nothing to worry about when there is. Sometimes it is necessary to hear the truth, but it doesn’t mean that you will want a doctor who will judge you and show you no sympathy or empathy when you’re concerned.
There are numerous stomach cancer causes for example, like those we looked at earlier, but that doesn’t mean that you want a doctor who is going to chastise you for not eating right or exercising enough if you are diagnosed with this terrible affliction.
Basically, you want a doctor who will tell you what you need to hear, but who will do so while helping to keep you feeling comfortable and as relaxed as you possibly can considering the circumstances.
How many surgeries have they performed?
There are many different treatment options when it comes to stomach cancer, yet in terms of stomach cancer survival rate stats, there are surgical procedures out there which are designed to treat the cancer and potentially help prevent its spread.
A gastrectomy is a surgical procedure which removes either part of, or the entire stomach and is fairly common when treating stomach cancer, yet this is not a simple procedure. Like any surgical procedure, there are risks and complications so when choosing a doctor, you need to know that you are in the safest hands possible.
When deciding on a doctor to treat your stomach cancer, find out how many gastrectomies they have performed in the past, and in the last several months. The more of these procedures they have carried out, the more at ease you should feel.
Do they offer multidisciplinary cancer care too?
Multidisciplinary cancer care is basically cancer care which is not exclusive to just one particular type of this disease.
Ideally you want a medical practice and doctor that offers multidisciplinary cancer care because there is always the risk that the cancer has spread, or that you may be unfortunate enough to be suffering from two different types of cancer at the same time.
After the diagnosis, an endoscopy may be carried out to help determine the extent of the cancer, and to rule out other types of cancer, or even other underlying health conditions which may have been undetected because of the stomach cancer.
When choosing a doctor for your condition, ideally you want a doctor who works at a practice offering multidisciplinary cancer care.
Follow your natural instincts
Finally, if you do find a doctor that you like who is ticking all of the right boxes, if you feel relaxed and comfortable enough to put your life in his hand, go ahead and commit to a treatment plan.
On the flipside, if on paper they look ideal, but there is just something inside you telling you that they aren’t right for you, you may wish to continue looking.