Brain Tumors: Treatment Questions

Talking with healthcare providers about your tumor can be overwhelming. It can be hard to take in all the information. It helps to be prepared. Make a list of questions and bring them with you to your appointments. Make sure you ask how the treatment will change your daily life, including your diet, and how you will look and feel after treatment. Ask how successful the treatment is expected to be, and what the risks and possible side effects are.

You may also want to ask a friend or family member to go with you. They can take notes and write down the answers, and ask questions you may not think of. You can also ask your healthcare provider if you can record the conversation. Write the answers down in a notebook.

Below are some questions to ask during your appointments.

Deciding on a treatment

  • What type of brain tumor do I have?

  • Where exactly is the tumor. How big is it?

  • How quickly is this type of tumor expected to grow?

  • Have you discussed (or will you discuss) my case with other healthcare providers?

  • How often do you treat this type of tumor?

  • Do I need to be treated right away?

  • What are my treatment choices?

  • Can the tumor be removed with surgery?

  • What treatments do you think are best for me and why?

  • What treatments do you think are not for me and why?

  • What are the goals of the treatment you are recommending?

  • What is the success rate of this treatment for my type of tumor?

  • Are there any clinical trials I should apply for?

  • Will this treatment affect my ability to have children in the future?

  • Should I get a second opinion? Are there brain tumor experts or expert centers that you recommend?

Getting ready for treatment

  • What is the length of the treatment period?

  • Where do I have to go for the treatment?

  • Who will give me the treatment?

  • How long will each treatment take?

  • Does someone need to go with me during treatments?

  • Will I be able to drive myself or take public transportation to treatment, or does someone else need to take me?

  • Can I take my other medicines during treatment?

  • Is there a social worker or financial advocate I can talk to about help paying for treatment?

  • What level of caregiving will I likely need during treatment?

Coping during treatment

  • What side effects should I expect?

  • How long will the side effects last?

  • What can I do to ease the side effects?

  • Are there any side effects that I need to call you about?

  • How do I reach you after hours and on weekends?

  • Should I change my diet? Are there foods I should not eat?

  • Will I be able to go to work and be around my family?

  • Are there support groups nearby or online that I can join?

After treatment

  • How will I feel after the treatment?

  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

  • How will we know if treatment worked?

  • What are my choices if the treatment doesn't work or the tumor comes back?

  • What symptoms should I be looking for?

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