Brain Tumor (cont.)
In this Article
- Brain tumor facts*
- What is the brain?
- What are the tumor grades and types?
- Tumor grade
- Types of primary brain tumors
- What are the risk factors for brain tumors?
- What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
- How are brain tumors diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a brain tumor?
- What type of surgery is available for brain tumors?
- Radiation therapy for brain tumors
- Chemotherapy for brain tumors
- What about a second opinion for brain tumor treatment?
- Nutrition during brain tumor treatment
- What supportive care is available for patients and caregivers?
- What about rehabilitation after brain tumor treatment?
- What about follow-up care after brain tumor treatment?
- Sources of support
- Taking part in cancer research
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Sources of support
Learning you have a brain tumor can change your life and the lives of those close to you. These changes can be hard to handle. It's normal for you, your family, and your friends to need help coping with the feelings that such a diagnosis can bring.
Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family, keeping your job, or continuing daily activities.
Here's where you can go for support:
- Doctors, nurses, and other members of your health care team can answer questions about treatment, working, or other activities.
- Social workers, counselors, or members of the clergy can be helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns. Often, social workers can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support.
- Support groups also can help. In these groups, people with brain tumors or their family members meet with other patients or their families to share what they have learned about coping with the disease and the effects of treatment. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet. You may want to talk with a member of your health care team about finding a support group.
- Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and at LiveHelp (http://www.cancer.gov/livehelp) can help you locate programs, services, and publications. They can send you a list of organizations that offer services to people with cancer.
For tips on coping, you may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Time: Support for People With Cancer.
Taking part in cancer research
Cancer research has led to real progress in the detection and treatment of brain tumors. Continuing research offers hope that in the future even more people with brain tumors will be treated successfully.
Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective.
Doctors are trying to find better ways to care for adults and children with brain tumors. They are testing new drugs and combining drugs with radiation therapy. They are also studying how drugs may reduce the side effects of treatment.
Even if the people in a trial do not benefit directly, they may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about brain tumors and how to control them. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.
If you're interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor. You may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. It describes how treatment studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks.
The NCI Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of brain tumors. NCI's Information Specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and at LiveHelp (http://www.cancer.gov/livehelp) can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.
Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology
SOURCE: National Cancer Institute. Brain Tumors. Last update: 4/29/2009
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