In the Unites States, many patients that are diagnosed with gastric cancer will see the oncologist only after they have undergone surgery to remove the cancer. Once the diagnosis is established by a gastroenterologist, patients are often referred directly to surgery. However, over the last decade we have seen more patients referred to medical oncologists before surgery. This is because for many patients with gastric cancer, it is now considered preferable to undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy (before surgery). Because gastric cancer is still quite rare in this country (25,000 cases annually), we still believe that the best approach is a multi-disciplinary one and involving an oncologist first is a good approach.
Question by: murray