Like Kestes, one of the things I am glad I did was consult with several doctors. Unlike Kestes, I am NOT patient. Not even a little.
Upon diagnosis, my first instinct was to get it all taken care of ASAP. But after I got through the panic phase, I spoke to a friend of my husband’s boss who had recently had AN surgery at UCSD. He emphasized that I had time (my AN upon diagnosis was 2.5cm, his was 2cm). He encouraged me to speak to several doctors, and to be sure I spoke to doctors who specialized in surgery, radiation, and, if possible, doctors who specialized in both. He warned me that I’d get a variety of opinions, and that there was often bias in those opinions. He said the best thing to do was speak to several doctors, and from that data (and a lot fo soul searching), arrive upon an informed decision on what treatment to seek. That is, unless, you are someone whose situation does not allow choices! He also told me to bring someone along to my appointments to take notes. All his advice was spot on, so I am passing it on to you
I live in LA, so met with doctors at USC, UCLA, and Pasadena. I sent my MRI to UVA, UCSD, Duke, and Stanford. When meeting or speaking with doctors, once they offered their opinion, I asked them why, for my specific AN, they liked surgery/radiation/watch and wait/whatever. The answers told me a lot.
Ultimately, I went to Dr. Chang and Dr. Hancock at Stanford, and I am glad I did. I had decided on CK, and wanted to go where tons of AN patients had been treated. I also really like that Stanford invented Cyberknife. To me, that meant that they had a lot of institutional knowledge. I also really liked that Dr. Chang does CK as well as surgery. Not everyone can go to Stanford (I live in CA, and insurance said fine, so why not?) - nor is doing so necessary. There are tons of great doctors and facilities all over the country. Just make sure you go to someone who has a lot of AN experience.
Hope this was helpful!