Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Your Diagnosis

Here are questions to ask about your brain or spine tumor to help you understand its characteristics, which doctors use to guide treatment and care decisions. 

  • What is the exact type and grade of my tumor? 
  • How accurate is my diagnosis? 
  • Did you (or will you) perform DNA, genetic, molecular, or methylation testing? How long will this take? If you cannot provide testing at your institute, can my tissue be sent to another institute for testing? 
  • What is the location of my tumor? 
  • What is the size of my tumor? 
  • Can my tumor spread to other areas of the central nervous system (CNS)? 
  • Can my tumor spread outside of the CNS? 
  • What is the success rate for treating this tumor? 
  • Will I need more tests before treatment begins? If so, which ones? 
  • Do you know what caused this tumor? 
  • Do I need to be concerned about my children’s risk for developing this tumor? 
  • Will I need a specialist (or multiple specialists) for my treatment? If so, whom would you recommend? 
  • Should I get a second opinion on my diagnosis? 

We encourage you to print these questions and bring them with you to your appointment. 

  • Updated:

If you would like to reproduce some or all of this content, see Reuse of NCI Information for guidance about copyright and permissions. In the case of permitted digital reproduction, please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source and link to the original NCI product using the original product's title; e.g., “Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Your Diagnosis was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”