Stomach Cancer Finding Oncologist

If you’re diagnosed with stomach cancer, you’ll want to find an oncologist who makes you feel comfortable. Oncology is the specialty of treating cancer, and oncologists come in three main types:

  • A medical oncologist treats cancer with chemotherapy.
  • A radiation oncologist treats cancer with radiation therapy.
  • A surgical oncologist specializes in cancer surgery, including a biopsy and surgically removing the cancer.

If you have stomach cancer, most likely, all three types of oncologists will collaborate on a treatment plan for you. However, you’ll probably have a primary oncologist you see for regular care. This oncologist should make you feel comfortable and give you the type of care and communication you need during your treatment.

Finding an Oncologist

As a stomach cancer patient, look for a gastrointestinal oncologist that specializes in your condition. Begin your search for the best oncologist by reviewing what your insurance covers. Many health insurance plans require that you see a provider in the plan’s network to get the maximum coverage benefits.

You can ask your family doctor for a referral or ask your friends and family if they know of an oncologist who specializes in stomach cancer. Also, many online physician finders are available, which provide information about doctors’ specialties, credentials and patient reviews and testimonials.

Two important things to look for in an oncologist are board certification and experience in treating your type of stomach cancer. Doctors who are board-certified have passed a high-level exam in their specialty.

Evaluating an Oncologist

Being comfortable with your oncologist is important, so when you first see a new doctor, observe:

  • Do the staff and doctor take enough time to meet your needs?
  • Does the doctor listen to you and fully answer your questions?
  • Does the doctor make sure that you understand the information about your care?

You may want to ask questions about the hospital where the doctor has privileges, how the doctor works with other oncologists involved in your care, about office hours and how emergency situations are handled. You may also want to talk to other patients about their experience with the oncologist.

If you aren’t sure about the recommendations of an oncologist, get a second opinion. Most insurance will pay for second opinions, and you’ll receive reassurance that you’re making the right decisions about your care.

Resources

American Cancer Society. (2010). Stomach cancer. Retrieved February 7, 2011, from http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/StomachCancer/DetailedGuide/stomach-cancer-what-is-stomach-cancer

American Society of Clinical Oncology. (n.d.). Types of oncologists. Retrieved February 10, 2011, from http://www.cancer.net/patient/All About Cancer/Newly Diagnosed/Find an Oncologist/Types of Oncologists

American Society of Clinical Oncology. (n.d.). Choosing a doctor. Retrieved February 10, 2011, from http://www.cancer.net/patient/All About Cancer/Newly Diagnosed/Find an Oncologist/Choosing a Doctor

National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). How to find a doctor or treatment facility if you have cancer. Retrieved February 10, 2011, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/therapy/doctor-facility