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A Patients' Guide to Spinal Tumors

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

When you visit your doctor, it is a good idea to bring a family member, close friend, or caregiver with as an extra set of ears. Take time to write down your questions - and bring them with you to share with your doctor. Your doctor wants to answer your questions, address concerns, and help you better understand your diagnosis and treatment. Whatever your age - don't rely on your memory. There is nothing wrong with jotting down your questions and bringing them with to your appointment.

Samples questions:

  • Why do you think my problem may be a spinal tumor?
  • Are all of my symptoms caused by the spinal tumor?
  • What types of tests are needed to confirm my diagnosis?
  • Please explain how this (these) test(s) are performed.
  • Will the test(s) cause side effects? If so, what type of side effects?
  • Who performs the tests? Who will tell me how to prepare for the test(s)? For example, if a blood sample is needed, do I need to fast overnight?
  • How long does it take to determine the diagnosis?
  • Is a biopsy needed?
  • Who explains my test results to me? Can I have a copy of my results?
  • Do you think a second opinion is a good idea? Why or why not?
  • How is this type of spinal tumor treated? Do I have options?
  • Do I need treatment right away?
  • How do patients feel during this treatment?
  • Is medication available to control treatment side effects?
  • If this treatment isn't effective, what's next?
  • What is my prognosis with and without treatment?
Updated on: 05/09/11
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