Brain and Spinal Cord Cancer: Patient Education
The cause of most brain or spinal cord tumors is not known. While most cases of these tumors are sporadic, some are inherited or have a genetic basis. Typically, inherited forms of brain or spinal cord tumors occur at younger ages and can be seen in combination with a family or personal history of other kinds of tumors. Also, specific types of brain or spinal cord tumors are associated with different inherited conditions.
If you are concerned that you or a family member may have a hereditary form of brain or spinal cord tumors, ask your physician for a referral to the Scott & White Cancer Genetics Clinic for testing to determine whether you have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
What to ask your doctor
If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, there are several questions you should be prepared to ask your physician.
- What type of brain tumor do I have?
- What does grade mean, and what is the grade of my tumor?
- Where is my brain tumor located? What part of my brain does it affect?
- How aggressive is the tumor?
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the possible side effects of these treatments?
- What treatment plan do you recommend?
- Who will be a part of my healthcare team and what do they do?
- Who will be coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up?
- Who can help me with managing the costs of my care?
- What support services are available to me and my family?
You should also ask additional questions that are important to you. Bring a list of the questions with you to see your doctor, so you don't forget any of them.
Additional information on brain and spinal cord tumors: