What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Pituitary Tumors?

As you deal with your tumor and its treatment, you need to have honest, open discussions with your health care team. Feel free to ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Be sure to add your own questions as you think of them. Nurses, social workers, and other members of the treatment team may also be able to answer many of your questions.

  • Is my tumor benign or malignant? How certain is the diagnosis?
  • Has my tumor spread into the nearby brain tissue or other structures?
  • Is my tumor secreting excess amounts of hormone? If so, which one?
  • Do I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Do I need to see other doctors?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of tumor?
  • Should I get a second opinion? Can you recommend a doctor or hospital?
  • What are my treatment choices? What do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of treatment (cure, keeping the tumor in check, etc.)?
  • Is treatment needed right away?
  • What are the possible risks or side effects of treatment?
  • Will this treatment affect my ability to have children?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment take? What will it be like? Where will it be given?
  • What is my expected prognosis (outlook), based on my tumor as you view it?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the tumor comes back?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down any others you want to ask. For instance, you might want information about recovery times so that you can plan your work and activity schedule. Or you may want to ask about clinical trials for which you may qualify.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: November 2, 2017

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