NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Brain Cancer – Gliomas, Version 1.2016
Making treatment decisions
Weighing your options
Weighing your options
Deciding which option is best can be hard. Doctors
from different fields of medicine may have different
opinions on which option is best for you. This can be
very confusing. Your spouse or partner may disagree
with which option you want. This can be stressful. In
some cases, one option hasn’t been shown to work
better than another, so science isn’t helpful. Some
ways to decide on treatment are discussed next.
The time around a cancer diagnosis is very stressful.
People with cancer often want to get treated as soon
as possible. They want to make their cancer go
away before it spreads farther. While cancer can’t
be ignored, there is time to think about and choose
which option is best for you.
You may wish to have another doctor review your
test results and suggest a treatment plan. This is
called getting a 2
opinion. You may completely trust
your doctor, but a 2
opinion on which option is best
Copies of the pathology report, a DVD of the
imaging tests, and other test results need to be sent
to the doctor giving the 2
opinion. Some people
feel uneasy asking for copies from their doctors.
However, a 2
opinion is a normal part of cancer
When doctors have cancer, most will talk with more
than one doctor before choosing their treatment.
What’s more, some health plans require a 2
opinion. If your health plan doesn’t cover the cost
of a 2
opinion, you have the choice of paying for it
If the two opinions are the same, you may feel more
at peace about the treatment you accept to have.
If the two opinions differ, think about getting a 3
opinion. A 3
opinion may help you decide between
your options. Choosing your cancer treatment is a
very important decision. It can affect your length and
quality of life.
Besides talking to health experts, it may help to talk
to patients who have walked in your shoes. Support
groups often consist of people at different stages of
treatment. Some may be in the process of deciding
while others may be finished with treatment. At
support groups, you can ask questions and hear
about the experiences of other people with glioma.
Compare benefits and downsides
Every option has benefits and downsides. Consider
these when deciding which option is best for you.
Talking to others can help identify benefits and
downsides you haven’t thought of. Scoring each
factor from 0 to 10 can also help since some factors
may be more important to you than others.
American Brain Tumor Associationabta.org
American Cancer Societycancer.org/cancer/braincnstumorsinadults/ detailedguide/index
National Cancer Institutecancer.gov/types/brain
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorshipcanceradvocacy.org/toolbox