Talking often with the doctor is important  to make informed decisions about your health care. These suggested questions are a starting point to help you learn more about your cancer care and treatment. You are also encouraged to ask additional questions that are important to you.
- What type of small bowel cancer do I have?
- Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
- What is the stage of the cancer? What does this mean?
- How many patients with this type of cancer do you treat a year?
- What are my treatment options?
- What clinical trials are open to me?
- What treatment plan do you recommend?
- When would you recommend I begin this treatment? How long will it be given?
- Is the treatment you recommend a standard treatment or part of a clinical trial?
- What are the goals of this treatment?
- Who will be a part of my health care team, and what does each member do?
- Who will be coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up care?
- What are the potential side effects, both in the short term and in the long term?
- How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
- Could this treatment affect my sex life? If so, how and for how long?
- Could this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?
- If I’m worried about managing the costs related to my cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?
- What do you know about my cancer at this point? What do you expect to know after surgery?
- What other tests will be done before surgery?
- Can you describe the surgery I will be having?
- Is this standard surgery for small bowel cancer?
- How much of my small intestine will you be removing? Will you also be removing lymph nodes?
- Is a biopsy part of the surgery?
- How many times have you performed this type of operation successfully?
- How soon after surgery will I have all test results?
- Who will give me information about how I should get ready for surgery and a hospital stay? How long will I be in the hospital? How long will recovery take?
- How will pain be controlled after surgery?
- Will I need to follow a special diet, with medicines and supplements to aid digestion, after surgery? For how long?
- What is my prognosis based on the results of surgery?
- Do you recommend additional treatment?
- How can I keep myself as healthy as possible during and after treatment?
- What follow-up tests will be needed, and how often will I need them?
- What support services are available to me? To my family?
- Does my diagnosis mean that my close relatives are at higher risk for small bowel cancer? Should they talk with their doctors about screening?
- Whom do I call for questions or problems?