Questions for your doctor
Below are some questions about brain or spinal cord tumours to ask your doctor to learn more about the disease, and your care and treatment options.
Asking your doctor questions will help you make an informed choice. You may want to include some of the questions below in your own list.
Learn more about:
- What type of brain or spinal cord tumour do I have?
- Where is the tumour? How extensive is the tumour? What grade is it?
- Are there clinical guidelines for this type of cancer?
- What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
- Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
- What will happen if I don’t have treatment, what should I expect?
- How long do I have to decide?
- 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 and after treatment
- 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?
- How often will I need check-ups after treatment?
- If the cancer comes back, how will I know? What treatments could I have?
- Who do I contact if I have concerns about side effects?
Listen to our podcast on Making Treatment Decisions
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
A/Prof Andrew Davidson, Neurosurgeon, Macquarie University Hospital, NSW; Dr Lucy Gately, Medical Oncologist, Oncology Clinics Victoria, and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC; Melissa Harrison, Allied Health Manager and Senior Neurological Physiotherapist, Advance Rehab Centre, NSW; Scott Jones, Consumer; Anne King, Neurology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Health Department, WA; Dr Toni Lindsay, Senior Clinical Psychologist and Allied Health Manager, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Elissa McVey, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Claire Phillips, Deputy Director, Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC.
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