Process Your Diagnosis
After a brain tumor diagnosis, there are likely a lot of questions you are facing and emotions that you are experiencing. We understand that this can be an overwhelming time. To make this process easier, you should lean on friends and family, as well as support groups and your healthcare team.
Learning as much as you can about your condition can also be helpful during this time. Use this timeline, which will walk you through the entire medical process, so that you can make educated medical decisions, understand what to expect, achieve some peace of mind and focus entirely on your recovery.
At Neurosurgeons of New Jersey, doctors, nurses and staff focus on creating a patient-centered atmosphere. Individual treatment plans are tailored specifically to you and your unique condition to ensure the best possible outcome.
To ensure that you and your healthcare team are aligned, it is crucial that you do everything you can to educate yourself about your condition. Armed with the right information, you will be able to discuss the variety of treatment options, understand the potential outcomes and navigate the complexities of your journey to recovery.
At Neurosurgeons of New Jersey, we make every effort to provide you with the finest care and the most convenient financial options. For patients who have just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, we offer several resources, in our office and online, that will help you understand your insurance. Paying for medical care, while navigating the complexities of brain tumor treatment, can be confusing. We’re here to answer your insurance questions, so you can focus all your energy on your recovery.
Find a Treatment Center
Brain tumor diagnosis regularly happens suddenly, and searching for the right treatment center can feel like an overwhelming task when everything is happening so quickly. It is important to find an experienced doctor to ensure everything is thoroughly explained and all of your questions are answered.
Neurosurgeons of New Jersey is home to a subspecialized team of neurosurgeons dedicated to the study and treatment of various types of brain tumors. Our focus is to help you achieve a comprehensive understanding of your condition and ensure the best possible outcome. We remain your biggest advocates throughout every step of the treatment process.
Seek a Second Opinion
If you’ve been diagnosed with a brain tumor, consider seeking a second opinion. This is important for a number of reasons: protecting yourself from misdiagnosis, clarifying a complex diagnosis and understanding the variety of treatment options available to you.
From our neurosurgeons and doctors to our nurses and staff, we pride ourselves on simplifying the consultation process to help you achieve a clear understanding of your diagnosis. We don’t believe in one blanket treatment, but rather we determine what’s the best course for you and your lifestyle.
Create a Treatment Plan
Depending on the size, type and location of your tumor treatment options include any or sometimes a combination of the following:
Your doctor may surgically remove all or part of your tumor using traditional open surgery. You may benefit from surgery if you have a large tumor, if it is easily accessible and/or you are a good surgical candidate based on your overall health. If your doctor is concerned about any tumor cells remaining following surgery, you may require adjunct therapies, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to eliminate your tumor and is more commonly used in the treatment of cancerous brain tumors, rather than benign tumors. Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy to eliminate any remaining tumor cells following other treatments or if you are unable to undergo other treatment methods due to health reasons.
Whole brain radiation therapy has long been the gold-standard treatment for some types of brain tumors and is a proven and effective method. It involves multiple sessions of low doses of radiation, which are delivered to the entire brain, including your tumor. However, because it also doses healthy brain tissue, it lends itself to some unpleasant side effects.
This treatment is not actually a surgery, but an advanced form of radiation therapy that delivers a targeted beam of radiation directly to your tumor, sparing healthy surrounding tissues. The result is an effective treatment with less of the side effects commonly associated with radiation therapy.
Clinical trials are research studies that are used to develop new treatments for brain tumors. These studies are particularly important because they typically offer treatment options that are not always available. They help doctors determine if a new treatment or device offers any benefit or advantage to brain tumor patients.
Going through brain tumor diagnosis and treatment is difficult and you shouldn’t have to experience it alone. Finding the right support system can help you through this time. A safe, convenient and confidential space where you can express yourself to a group of trusted peers is important for peace of mind. Your friends and family are always there for you, as is your team of medical professionals. There are also several support groups available in the community, which are comprised of people who have experienced or are currently experiencing challenges similar to yours. The right network of support will give you an opportunity to discuss the changes you are currently facing in an understanding, helpful way.
“I thought the day would never come. 10/27/2017. Here we are, a week later. I am sitting at home. Dr. Bruce and Dr. D’Ambrosio took out 80 % of my left pituitary and successfully removed a hormone-producing tumor. A tumor that was not seen in an MRI. This unseen tumor gave me Cushing disease. I am so grateful to these two men. I am on my way to recovery, and hopefully getting my strength back so I can dance at my daughter’s wedding next year! Thank you!”