To ask your doctor
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important. Some basic questions to ask the doctor include:
- What areas of the brain are affected or can be affected?
- Will these tests need anaesthesia?
- Are these tests invasive?
- Will these tests make him/her suffer?
- Do these tests show secondary effects?
- What do you hope these tests will accomplish?
- What kind of tests will my child need?
- Can we donate the tumour tissue from a biopsy for research purposes?
- How will you determine if the cancer has metastasised?
- Do you have experience treating GC patients?
- How many patients with GC have you treated?
- What are the treatment options?
- What results were obtained with these treatments in other patients?
- What are the benefits and risks of each treatment?
- How many of your patients have gone under immunotherapy?
- Is there one treatment you think is the best? What can we expect?
- How will we know therapy is working?
- How many of your patients with immunotherapies have improved their life expectancy compared with the conventional treatments of chemotherapy or radiotherapy?
- Have they shown improvements in their quality of life? Which ones?
- Which are the secondary effects for this treatment?
- How invasive is this treatment?
- Will my child receive treatment here or at another centre?
- How and when should I report side effects to you?
- How should I contact you or your team in case of an emergency?
- Is there a clinical trial available to treat the tumour? Is it appropriate for my child?
- How will treatment affect my child’s daily activities, like walking, talking and speaking? What are the expected side effects?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
- What type of follow-up care will we need?
- Where would you recommend getting a second opinion?
Do not hesitate to ask your doctor about any other questions that occur to you.
Further resources in “Questions to ask to your medical team when your child is diagnosed with a brain tumor” from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Your doctor may ask you
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Prepare your answers ahead of time as this may give you more time to cover any other points you want to address. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?