Find out what to expect from your appointment with our neuro-oncology service, which offers diagnosis and treatment for brain tumours and spinal tumours.

Before your appointment

We encourage you to bring a partner, relative, close friend or carer to your appointments, as you will need to discuss your condition, which could mean discussing good or bad news. All patients who need an intimate or internal examination will have a chaperone – this could be a friend, but can also be a hospital worker. Please wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes, as you may need to undress in order for some investigations or examinations to be performed.

There is nothing specific you need to bring with you to your appointment. Many patients find it helpful to write down questions that they have beforehand, so that they don't forget to ask them in the appointment. If you have had treatment before, particularly overseas, we may ask you to bring any documents or scans you have with you. In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring:

  • your full address and telephone number(s)
  • your appointment card and appointment letter
  • your GP’s name and address
  • money to pay for any prescriptions, or an exemption card

Please ensure that your address and GP's details are up to date.

During your appointment

When you arrive at Charing Cross Hospital for your appointment, please go to Clinic 8 on the first floor and check in at the reception desk. At this appointment you are likely to meet neurosurgeons, oncologists, specialist nurses and other members of the team.

You will need some scans, usually either a CT scan, or an MRI or both. In some cases, we may need to perform particularly complex MRI brain scans (fMRI, spectroscopy, perfusion scans and tractography), which are investigations our team are experts in. You may also require specialist investigations, depending on your situation.

Once we have the information from your referral form, we will be able to advise on which tests and the timing of these. You may have had CT or MRI scans of your brain/spine before referral. If this is the case, it is helpful if you can provide both the images and report.

After your appointment

Following your scans and any other necessary investigations, your case will normally be discussed in the multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting where surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, nurses, physiotherapists and others come together to decide upon the best course of treatment for your needs and condition. We will contact you to discuss your treatment plan. 

We offer a range of clinics on different days and times, including Skype and telephone clinics. Not every clinic is suitable for every patient, but please let us know if one clinic suits you better than another.

Patient information leaflet