If your GP or another doctor suspects you have a brain or spinal cord tumour, they will arrange the first tests to assess your symptoms. You will then be referred to a neurologist, neurooncologist or a neurosurgeon, who will examine you and may do more tests and advise you about your treatment options.
You will be cared for by a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your treatment. This is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). The MDT will probably include some or all of the health professionals listed below.
The different roles
- Neurologist – diagnoses and treats diseases of the brain and nervous system, particularly those not requiring surgery
- Neurosurgeon – diagnoses and surgically treats diseases and injuries of the brain and nervous system
- Nurses and cancer care coordinators – administer drugs, including chemotherapy, and provide care, information and support throughout your treatment
- Neuropathologist – pathologist specialising in analysing blood and tissue from the brain and spinal cord
- Medical oncologist – specialises in diagnosing cancers and treating them using chemotherapy and biological therapies
- Radiation oncologist – specialist who prescribes and coordinates the course of radiation therapy
- Dietitian – recommends an eating plan for you to follow while you are in treatment and recovery
- Social worker, psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist – help with emotional, spiritual, physical, social or practical and financial issues and link you to support services
- Physiotherapist, speech therapist and occupational therapist – provide rehabilitation services and help with physical issues