What to Ask Your Doctor about Brain Metastases

When your doctor tells you that you have cancer, it can often be overwhelming. However, it is important to use the time when you are with your doctor to learn as much about your cancer as you can, so that you can gain control of your diagnosis.

After a physician tells a patient that they have melanoma, the doctor will often explain a number of important details specific to that patient’s diagnosis. It is often helpful to bring a friend or family member with you. Friends can lend morale support and help you by asking questions and helping you understand what your doctor has said.

The following questions relate to some of the most important aspects of a melanoma diagnosis and can serve as a guide to help you focus on what questions to ask your doctor.

Remember, it is ALWAYS okay to ask your doctor to repeat or clarify something they have said so that you can better understand it.

You may find it helpful to print out these questions and bring them with you to your next doctor’s visit.

  • Is there a single brain tumor or are there multiple brain tumors? If so, how many?
  • Where is/are the tumor(s) located in the brain?
  • Is my primary disease controlled?
  • Do I have any active disease (other metastases) outside of my central nervous system?
  • How does my age affect my treatment options?
  • What is my performance status?
  • What is the BRAF status of my tumor?
  • Am I a candidate for surgery?
  • Am I a candidate for radiation therapy? What type?
  • Are there any systemic therapies I can take?
  • Am I eligible for any clinical trials?

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