Choosing A Treatment Facility
Why Is The Choice So Important?
Stomach cancer is a very serious disease. Its diagnosis, staging, and treatment are all complex and require an experienced, skilled team of medical professionals working together. This team includes surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, oncologists, radiation therapists, gastroenterologists, and support personnel to deal with the many physical and psychosocial challenges posed by gastric cancer. For this reason, it is very important for patients to have at least the initial phases of their staging and treatment at a cancer center or academic medical center which treats a large number of gastric cancers and can offer this multidisciplinary approach. Once the initial treatment is complete, it may be possible for many patients to return to their community hospitals to receive their follow-up care in that setting. Some medical centers allow a patient to receive treatment from their community doctor or hospital but still follow the patient from a distance with occasional trips back to the cancer center for tests or follow-up visits, and some will even allow follow-up consultations by phone.
How to Chose a Treatment Facility
There are many factors that should play into choosing a treatment facility. They include the following:
1. Where the patient is located
2. How sick the patient is and whether the patient can travel or has the time to travel for another opinion
3. Ability to be covered by insurance or to pay out of pocket for certain expenses and travel
4. Whether there are appointments available at the center of choice
5. If the patient has a caregiver who can travel with him/her
6. How many other similarly situated patients has that doctor and center treated in the last year
All of the above and possibly other factors should all be considered when choosing a treatment facility and treating doctor.