New Patient

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, spinal cord tumor or paraneoplastic neurological disorder, here are a few things to consider as you begin to deal with it.


  • Take the time you need to make decisions about treatment. Unless your doctor has told you that your situation is urgent, take some time while you and your loved ones gather the information you need to make decisions. Ask your doctor or nurse how long you can safely wait before having surgery or beginning treatment.
  • Become Informed. You may want to learn about brain tumor, spinal cord tumor or paraneoplastic neurological disorder and treatment options by visiting OncoLink or Penn Center for Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorders.
  • Also, take some time to learn about the outstanding cancer experts who specialize in neuro-oncologyat Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.
  • Visit OncoPilot for information on: finding an oncologist, questions to ask your doctor, second opinions, and your first visit to a specialist.
  • You may want to ask a loved one to go with you to your doctors' appointments and tests. This person can provide emotional support, help by taking notes at visits, and do research on your disease and treatment options.
  • Keep all your information, ideas, and questions organized, perhaps in a notebook. Our booklet, "Your Treatment Organizer and Journal," can help.
  • Keep a list of questions and concerns to discuss with your team. You'll also find tools to help you stay organized on OncoPilot.
  • You may hear a lot about diseases and treatments on the news and from friends and relatives. Remember—all cancers are not the same, and can be very different from one another. The treatment a friend or relative had may not be right for you.

Becoming a Patient

Brain tumor, spinal cord tumor and paraneoplastic neurological disorder patients at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center will be treated by a team of physician specialists in:

  • Neuro-Oncology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Radiation oncology

Our team provides innovative treatments, including radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.

Our experienced cancer line nurses can help you find the right specialist.

To make an appointment and become a patient – Call 800 789 PENN (7366) or request an appointment on line

Where will I be seen?

Patients come to us from many different points along the cancer experience. Depending on the situation patients may be seen by specialists in one or more of the clinical areas listed below.

Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine

  • Neuro-Oncology  – Perelman Center 4th Floor West Pavilion
  • Radiation Oncology– Perelman Center  4th Floor West Pavilion
  • Neurosurgery- Perelman Center  4th Floor West Pavilion and Silverstein 3rd  Floor 

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Pennsylvania Hospital

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First Visit

Our patients come to us from many different points along the cancer experience.

Depending on the situation patients may be seen
by a specialist in one or more of the following clinical areas.

Your primary care doctor can refer you to the appropriate specialist or call 800-789-PENN (7366) and talk to a Cancer Line Nurse who will discuss your situation and refer you to the right specialist.

Prior to your first appointment, you may be asked to send information on the testing and care you have already received. The information needed varies by specialist.

The Patient Service Representative or New Patient Coordinator, who schedules your appointment, will let you know the exact information that needs to be sent.

Below are some examples of information that you may need to send:

  • Doctor’s notes
  • Laboratory tests
  • Biopsy Pathology Slides and Biopsy Reports
  • Imaging Films (xrays, ultrasounds, MRI, CTscans) and Reports

During your visit, your doctor will:

  • Talk with you and review your medical history.
  • Perform a physical examination and additional testing, as needed.
  • Discuss your situation, with you, and identify treatment options.
  • Work with you to determine the option that is best for your situation.

Abramson Cancer Center: A Video Guide

Radiation Oncology Patient Guide: What to Expect