Questions to Ask Your Esophageal Cancer Specialist

Your esophageal cancer specialist will serve as an invaluable resource to you as you come to terms with your diagnosis and prepare for the treatment journey that lies ahead. To help ensure that your treatment is as effective as possible and gain crucial peace of mind, it will be important for you to have ongoing, candid discussions with your specialist throughout this process.

Toward that end, you should never hesitate to raise any concern or ask any question that occurs to you – no matter how trivial it may seem. Whenever you think of something, be sure to jot it down so that you won’t forget to bring it up the next time you’re face to face with your esophageal cancer specialist.

Some questions to ask

To help you get started, here are some sample questions that you might ask:

  • What is the type and stage of my esophageal cancer?
  • How much experience do you have in treating my specific diagnosis?
  • Should I request a second opinion? Can you recommend an oncologist or cancer center?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • Which treatment(s) do you recommend for me and why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment?
  • What risks or side effects should I expect?
  • Will my treatment affect my ability to swallow, eat or speak?
  • How can I prepare for my treatment?
  • How long will my treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be performed?
  • What can I do if my treatment is ineffective or if my cancer comes back?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

Keep in mind that your esophageal cancer specialist is not your only source of information. Other health care professionals, such as radiation therapists and nurses, can answer some of your questions as well.

If you’d like more information about how to communicate effectively with your treatment team, call Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. You do not need a referral to meet with an esophageal cancer specialist in our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program.