Brain Tumors

After Treatment Ends

At the end of your treatment period, your doctor will discuss your follow-up care schedule. This details the need for future appointments, lab work, scans and/or any ongoing maintenance therapy.

Follow-up care is an important step in monitoring for recurrence (cancer that has come back). It’s also an opportunity to talk with your doctor about any long-term side effects you’re having or any late effects that arise. Late effects may begin weeks, months or even years after treatment ends.

Additionally, as you resume some of your daily activities, you may face the following challenges. Talk with a member of your health care team for resources that can help you manage them.

 

  • Cognitive issues. Memory, motor skills, learning and behavior can be affected. Children who experience these issues may have learning disabilities.
  • Dental concerns. Increased risk for cavities, thinning of tooth enamel and problems with roots are likely. Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Emotional changes. Changes in mood and behavior can occur. It is important to watch for these types of changes and report them to your doctor immediately so you can be evaluated right away.
  • Fertility issues. Your fertility may be affected, impairing your ability to have a child or to maintain a pregnancy. If having children is part of your life plan, ask your doctor to check your hormone levels annually. An endocrinologist is recommended to monitor the progress of puberty and hormone levels in children after receiving treatment for a brain tumor.
  • Hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). You should have regular audiology testing after treatment. Hearing aids may help, if necessary.
  • Hormonal issues. Growth and reproductive issues and osteoporosis may occur. Hormone levels should be checked regularly. Children should be monitored closely throughout puberty.
  • Language and speech impairment. Many problems can occur regarding your ability to express yourself and your ability to comprehend others. Rehabilitation with a speech pathologist can help you find ways to improve these communication skills.
  • Rehabilitation. Health care professionals work as a team to provide rehabilitation care, which helps patients improve their physical strength, including function and movement and their ability to care for themselves and assist in the management of pain and other symptoms.
  • Resuming your career. You may have taken time off from work during treatment and are now exploring the idea of re-entering the workforce. Before you jump right back into work, it's important to re-evaluate your career goals and abilities. You may be dealing with difficult side effects that might require temporary adjustments at work. Talk to your supervisor about your workload and be realistic about what you can manage. Also, talk to your doctor about how your follow-up treatment schedule and long-term side effects might affect your ability to perform the same job you had before cancer.
  • Vision problems. The risk of vision loss or cataracts is increased. Be sure to have your eyes checked regularly.

 

 

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