10 Important Questions to Ask Before Brain Cancer Surgery

If your oncologist has recommended surgery as part of your brain cancer treatment plan, you may have quite a few questions – and that’s understandable. Your decision to have surgery should only be made after a careful discussion of the potential risks and benefits, as well as an evaluation of any other treatments that might also be appropriate.

That said, surgery is a common treatment for brain cancer. Surgical oncologists at high-volume cancer centers have extensive experience in performing craniotomies, endoscopic surgeries and other advanced procedures. Therefore, by working with such a surgeon, you can potentially improve your outcome and quality of life.

Regardless of the type of brain cancer surgery you’re considering, you might ask your treatment team the following questions before you make your final decision:

  1. Why do you think surgery is the best approach for me?
  2. Are there other, nonsurgical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy that might be appropriate instead?
  3. How long is the procedure expected to take?
  4. What do you expect my outcome to be?
  5. Are there any complications that could occur, either during the operation or shortly afterward?
  6. How many times have you performed this specific procedure?
  7. What have your patients’ outcomes been like?
  8. What will my recovery process look like?
  9. Will I need to have any follow-up tests or treatments after my surgery?
  10. How much time do I have to decide on my treatment plan?

Choosing a brain surgeon

Finding a surgeon who can thoroughly answer your questions is important. Additionally, surgeons at high-volume cancer centers who have focused experience in the field of brain cancer surgery are best equipped to provide you with individualized recommendations and precise treatment.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, you can consult with our brain cancer team with or without a physician’s referral. We can walk you through your treatment options – both surgical and nonsurgical – and help you decide if brain cancer surgery is right for you. To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3888 or submit a new patient registration form online.