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I’ve Just Been Told I Have a Brain Tumor

A brain tumor is a type of cancer. And there are very few things scarier than being told you have cancer. You may feel like you are in shock. You may not even want to believe what the doctor has told you. And there are probably so many questions you want to ask, but think you can’t because you don’t know where to start.

First of all, it’s OK to be overwhelmed. And it’s OK to feel afraid. But you shouldn’t let those feelings stop you from finding out as much as you can about your cancer and about the options you have. The more you know, the less helpless and afraid you will feel.

To decide on the best treatment, your doctor needs to know as much as possible about your cancer. This will involve getting a variety of tests. Gather all the information you can in order to make the treatment choice easier. You may need to have some form of treatment to relieve or manage brain tumor symptoms while deciding on the best treatment. It is more important to make an informed decision than a quick one.

Your doctor may recommend a specialist. Here are examples of specialists for brain tumors:

  • Neurologist. A doctor who specializes in treating problems with the brain or nerves.

  • Neurosurgeon. A surgeon who specializes on surgery in the brain or nerves.

  • Medical oncologist. A doctor who specializes in giving drugs to treat cancer.

  • Radiation oncologist. A doctor who specializes in giving radiation to treat cancer.

Sometimes these doctors work together at hospitals or special centers for brain tumors.

Many people have a hard time deciding which treatment to have. Before starting treatment, you may want to have a second doctor review your diagnosis and treatment options. It is important to remember that a short delay in treatment will not reduce the chance that it will work. Some health insurance companies even require that people with cancer seek a second opinion, and many other companies will pay for a second opinion if you request it.

People with brain tumors now have more treatment choices and more hope for survival than ever before. Doctors are searching for new treatments for brain tumors and ways to help people with them have a better life. We are always learning more about brain tumors, and their detection and treatment.


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