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If your child has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, more than likely your doctor, or neurosurgeon, is recommending some type of surgical procedure in order to make a "tissue diagnosis." Depending upon the location of the tumor, a biopsy or some type of resection will be done. It is important to get a piece of the tumor so that it can be carefully looked at by a pathologist and given a specific name. The name given to the tumor will indicate how it should be treated.
If your child has already undergone some type of surgical procedure at this point, it is likely you have been given the specific name of this tumor. The name given to the tumor is extremely important because it determines what type of therapy will be most effective.
Your doctor may have told you the name of the tumor and given you recommendations for further therapy. You may have already been introduced to an "oncologist" or "radiation therapist" who has spent some time explaining what he or she feels is the most appropriate treatment for your child. In either case, you are now faced with making another difficult decision---- what therapy is best for your child.
This decision can be very difficult and it often helps to get the professional recommendation of another pediatric center. Although there may be pressure placed on you to initiate therapy as soon as possible, it is important to remember that this option is available. It is not a good idea to delay therapy for an extended period of time, but waiting a few extra days for a second opinion can provide the reassurance you need that the very best treatment will be given to your child. Once therapy is started, it is vital that you see it through to completion. Therefore, it is crucial that you gather information about treatment options before therapy is initiated.
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