IF FIRST-LINE TREATMENT FAILS:
There are many options available to manage stomach cancer. You may find comfort in asking your healthcare about all the available options or you may want to focus on treatment step-wise. When all first-line treatments have been exhausted it may be time to consider a clinical trial.
1. Do you recommend a clinical trail for me? Are there clinical trials available at other healthcare centres that I could benefit from?
Rationale: Depending where you live, your treatment centre may be limited in the clinical trials available for stomach cancer in your locations. There are many clinical trials available across Canada and you may still wish to pursue these trials if re-location is possible.
2. How will you manage my pain during treatment?
Rationale: Not all treatment options have a risk of pain. However pain can severely impact your quality of life and recovery. The doctor may suggest a referral to a palliative care team. A palliative care team has experts in pain management and are a valuable resource to you. Many people are scared of a palliative care team referral, it is important to recognize that early intervention will benefit your quality of life but it does not mean that your healthcare team is "giving up". You can continue to pursue active treatment but have the palliative team involved on an ongoing basis to manage pain.