Craniopharyngioma - Childhood: Questions to Ask the Doctor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your child’s doctor or other members of the health care team, to help you better understand the diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Talking often with the doctor is important to make informed decisions about your child’s health care. These suggested questions are a starting point to help you learn more about your care and treatment. You are also encouraged to ask additional questions that are important to you. You may want to print this list and bring it to your child’s next appointment, or download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for an e-list and other interactive tools to manage your child’s care.

  • What type of tumor does my child have?
  • Are other tests or surgery needed to confirm this diagnosis?
  • Can you explain my child’s pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
  • What is your familiarity with craniopharyngioma and its treatment?
  • How many CNS tumors do you treat each year?
  • Do you attend meetings to discuss complicated tumor cases and possible new treatments for these tumors? What types of specialists attend such meetings?
  • Will an experienced neuropathologist review my child’s pathology slides?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What clinical trials are open to my child? Where are they located, and how do I find out more about them?
  • Who will be part of my child’s health care team, and what does each member do?
  • Who will be coordinating my child’s overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the tumor, help my child feel better, or both?
  • Should I get a second opinion on this treatment plan?
  • Are there pediatric treatment centers that you recommend?
  • What are the chances for success with the planned treatment?
  • Does your practice include multidisciplinary care?
  • What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and the long term?
  • Could the treatment affect my child’s vision?
  • How will this treatment affect my child’s daily life? Will he or she be able to go to school and perform his or her usual activities?
  • If I’m worried about managing the costs related to my child’s medical care, who can help me with these concerns?
  • Could this treatment affect my child’s fertility (ability to have a child in the future)?
  • Do you work with a social worker that assists patients with CNS tumors?
  • Do you know of a local support group for patients with CNS tumors?
  • Do you have reading material that would help me understand my child’s disease?
  • Who answers questions when you are unavailable?
  • What follow-up tests will my child need, and how often will he or she need them?
  • Is my child at risk for being overweight due to the tumor or its treatment? If so, how can we reduce his/her risk?
  • What support services are available to my child? To my family?
  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?

The next section offers some more resources that may be helpful to you and your family. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Additional Resources, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.