The Cancer Care Center
Brain Tumors: Patient FAQs
If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, you probably have many questions and concerns. We understand this, and your health care team is here to answer all your questions and provide reassurance.
Here are some frequently asked questions about brain tumors:
Q. Why do I have to get a biopsy?
A. A biopsy offers a definitive diagnosis of cancer. Imaging studies, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, can show the doctor if there is an abnormality and where it is located, but the doctor cannot definitively determine that the tumor is malignant based on a scan. During a biopsy, your doctor removes a piece of the tumor and sends it to a pathology lab. There, a trained pathologist analyzes it and determines whether it is cancerous.
Depending on the biopsy, you are either put to sleep using general anesthesia or remain awake and receive a local anesthetic to numb the pain. Learn more about brain biopsies.
Q. What am I going to do if the diagnosis is cancer?
A. Once you receive a cancer diagnosis, your health care team springs into action, ready to begin treatment. You will not be alone during this time. Your health care team will carefully explain your treatment options and what your next steps should be, and answer any of your questions, ranging from treatment to insurance to where to park.
St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center offers sophisticated, state-of-the-art therapies, including interventional radiology, thermal ablation and the Trilogy IGRT System. You also have access to the latest cancer clinical trials in St. Louis, made available through St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center affiliation with the National Institutes of Health.
Q. How do I break the news to my family?
A. This question depends on your family: how many people are included, how do they best receive difficult information, how can you make it easy on yourself? You may decide to craft an e-mail, call people on the phone or talk to them in person. The most important thing to say is that you feel very confident with your health care and you are going to stay positive. When they ask how they can help, have something prepared, even if it is just “Please keep me in your thoughts.” Remember, you are the patient, and you need to care for yourself now.
Q. Is everything I need in this building?
A. Yes, during your testing and treatment, you will not be given the run-around. Everything you need and everyone you need to talk to is right here at St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center, including:
- radiology department for your imaging tests
- fully-equipped surgical center
- infusion center to receive your chemotherapy treatment
- every doctor and nurse on your health care team—radiologists, oncologists, surgeons
For information about St. Anthony's Cancer Care Center - St. Louis, please call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
At St. Anthony's, our vision is to be the area's premier health care organization
— and your first choice for health care services.