A Patients' Guide to Spinal Tumors

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

If you have or may have a spinal tumor, you will have many questions to ask your doctor and medical team members. Consider bringing a family member or close friend with you; someone who can listen in and help you to make sure all of your questions are answered. Also, it's a good idea to write your questions down and bring them with you.

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.

Female patient in consultation with a Doctor

Samples questions:

  • Why do you think my problem may be a spinal tumor?
  • Are all of my symptoms caused by a 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: 07/26/16
Continue Reading
Nonsurgical treatment of spinal tumors
Continue Reading:

Nonsurgical treatment of spinal tumors

Not all spinal tumors—benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancerous) require spine surgery. Your doctor may recommend a combination of therapies, some of which may be administered at different times. The best treatment may involve a thoughtful balance between complete elimination of the tumor to reducing its size.
Read More