You may need to make life-style changes while perusing active treatment. It is important to understand the changes you may need to consider and decide which changes are right for you.
1. How will my eating habits change before, during and after treatment? Are there any food I should avoid during treatment?
Rationale: You may have difficulty eating due to the tumor itself or due to side-effects of treatment. Your healthcare team can refer you to a dietitian that will help you develop an eating plan at each stage of your treatment. Keep in mind that there are certain foods, herbal products and supplements that you should avoid during your treatment, make sure to ask a doctor what these may be.
2. Are there lifestyle changes I need to make?
Rationale: Your doctor may suggest you take medical leave from work, alter your diet or exercise routine. Make sure to be honest with your team and express your concerns, fears and desires. If you are unable to leave work, your healthcare team may be able to provide you with alternative options. Your doctor may also refer you to an occupational therapist or physical therapist to accommodate your new needs and abilities.
3. Do I carry a gene that causes stomach cancer that can be passed on to other family members (is this cancer heritable)?
Rationale: If you are a young patient, have a family history of stomach cancer or a history of multiple related cancers you may be eligible for genetic testing. Please remember that heritable cancers are rare, but if you carry a genetic mutation for stomach cancer, other members of your family may be at risk for cancer and may need to be tested. Please see our guest speaker lecture on genetics and speak to your doctor if you are concerned about a heritable cancer.