Brain tumours

If you’re affected by a brain or spinal cord tumour, you may have many questions about how it is diagnosed, treatment options, side effects and how to stay well. You can find trustworthy information about all aspects of your experience below.

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Diagnosis

  • What type of brain or spinal cord tumour do I have?
  • Where is the tumour? How extensive is the tumour? How fast is it growing?
  • Will a multidisciplinary team be involved in my care?
  • Are there clinical guidelines for this type of cancer?

Treatment

  • What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
  • Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
  • If I don’t have the treatment, what should I expect?
  • How long do I have to make a decision?
  • I’m thinking of getting a second opinion. Can you recommend anyone?
  • How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • Are there any out‑of‑pocket expenses not covered by Medicare or my private health cover? Can the costs be reduced if I can’t afford it?
  • How will we know if the treatment is working?
  • Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?

Side effects

  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
  • Will I have a lot of pain? What will be done about this?
  • Can I work, drive and do my normal activities while having treatment?
  • Will the treatment affect my sex life and fertility?
  • Should I change my diet or physical activity during or after treatment?
  • Are there any complementary therapies that might help me?
  • How can I access rehabilitation services?
  • Who do I contact if I have concerns about side effects?

After treatment

  • How often will I need check‑ups after treatment?
  • If the tumour returns, how will I know? What treatments could I have?

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