Questions to ask
Talking to your health team is important - asking questions can help you to understand your condition and allow you to make informed decisions about your treatment and care.
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To ensure that you receive the best possible care, it is now a national recommendation that all patients are discussed and treated by a team of dedicated specialists. This multi-disciplinary team (MDT) works together to create your personalised treatment plan.
Although not technically part of the MDT, your GP (or family doctor) may be the first person you seek medical advice from when you experience symptoms of any kind.
Your GP will also be involved in your day-to-day care during and after treatment.
A neurologist specialises in medical, non-surgical problems relating to the brain, spinal cord and nerves in the body. You may be referred to a neurologist for your initial diagnosis.
They can be involved at all stages from diagnosis to follow-up after treatment is complete.
You will be referred to a neurosurgeon if your brain tumour can be operated on. This may be to fully remove the tumour (where possible) or to remove as much as possible. This is known as 'debulking'.
The neurosurgeon might carry out a biopsy so that the tumour can be analysed and diagnosed.
A neuropathologist diagnoses diseases of the central nervous system by looking at a sample of brain tissue under a microscope.
They are able to establish the type and grade of your child's tumour.
The clinical nurse specialist (sometimes called a neuro-oncology nurse) is your main contact between you and the MDT. For this reason they are often called 'key workers'.
The CNS will be able to help with any questions or concerns you may have about treatment or other practical or emotional aspects of living with your brain tumour.
A clinical oncologist specialises in the non-surgical management of patients i.e. in both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. If they specialise in treatment of brain tumours they may be called a neuro-oncologist.
A doctor who specialises in the use of imaging , such as X-rays and scans, to diagnose tumours of the brain and spine.
Radiographers are not doctors. They are highly trained specialists who perform the scans to produce images of your tumour (diagnostic radiographers), or are the person who actually gives the radiotherapy (therapeutic radiographers).
You are unlikely to meet the medical physicist, but they help to plan the doses of radiation you need for radiotherapy treatment.They also work out how the treatment should be staged to give normal cells time to recover before the next dose.
Speech and language therapist
For more information about these staff, download the full factsheet below.
Page last reviewed: 09/2017
Next review date: 09/2020
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