Talking to Your Doctor About Brain Tumors
Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with brain cancer. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Tips for Getting Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to give more details.
- Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
- Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing.
- Ask for help if you need it.
Do not be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Consider Asking Your Doctor
About Brain Tumors
- Do you know what caused my brain tumor?
- Will I have any limits?
- Will I be able to care for myself, and for how long?
About Treatment Options
- What are my treatment options?
- Are some treatments better for me than others?
- What are the side effects?
What medicines are available to me?
- What are the benefits and side effects?
- Will these medicines cause problems with other medicines, over the counter products, or supplements that I take?
- Are there any alternative or complimentary therapies that may help me?
About Lifestyle Changes
- Should I follow a special diet? How do I get started?
Should I start an exercise program?
- What kind of exercise is best?
- How often should I exercise?
- How do I get started?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol?
- Are there any things I should avoid until the treatment is over?
- Will I have to give up driving?
- What changes do I need to make in my job?
- What should I tell my family and friends?
- Who can help me find a support group?
- What is my prognosis?
- How often will I need checkups?
- What are the chances my brain tumor will come back?
Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed July 12, 2021.
Questions to ask about adult brain and spinal cord tumors. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/detection-diagnosis-staging/talking-with-your-doctor.html. Accessed July 12, 2021.
Questions to ask your doctor about cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/questions. Accessed July 12, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 7/12/2021