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Questions to Ask Your Child's Doctor

Originally published on January 24, 2013
Most recently updated on April 13, 2015

Keeping track of all the incoming information after your child has been diagnosed with a brain tumor can be a challenge. It can be difficult to remember everything you’re told. This is especially true when it comes to talking to your doctor. To help out the conversation, we have compiled a list of questions you can ask your child’s doctor which will give you a starting point to understanding your child’s condition. Don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions if they come to you. It's also a good idea to write down any other questions that come to mind and bring them with you to your next appointment.

General Medical Questions:

  • What type of brain tumor does my child have?
  • Where in the brain is the tumor located? How might this affect my child?
  • Is there someone I can talk to who can help me explain the disease to my child?  Can you connect me with this person?  
  • Are there services to help my other children understand their sibling’s illness? 
  • What services are available to help my child and family cope?
  • What are our next steps?
  • How do we know if a treatment is working?
  • What side effects from the treatments can we anticipate? 
  • What if the tumor comes back again?
  • Will my child need to be in the hospital?  If yes, for how long?
  • Are there short and long-term complications of treatment my child might face? How will they be addressed?
  • What type of medications will my child be on and what are their potential side effects?  How long will my child have to be on these medications?
  • What is the likelihood of cure?
  • What types of educational resources are available while my child is in treatment? 

Questions for medical issues at home:

  • What symptoms or side effects should we expect? What needs to be reported to the doctor?
  • Are there symptoms or side effects that would be considered an emergency?  If yes, what are they?
  • How can I monitor healing or changes?
  • Is there anything I can do to minimize side effects?
  • I am interested in learning about complementary and alternative treatments, is this something you are willing to incorporate into my child's care and can help me find?
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