See your health-care provider right away if you have any of the following
Unexplained, persistent vomiting
Double vision or unexplained blurring of vision, especially on only one side
Lethargy or increased sleepiness
New pattern or type of
headaches are thought to be a common symptom of
brain cancer / tumor, they may not occur until late in the progression of
the disease. If any significant change in your
headache pattern occurs, your health-care provider may suggest that you go
If you have a known brain tumor, any new symptoms or relatively sudden or rapid
worsening of symptoms warrants a trip to the nearest hospital emergency
department. Be on the lookout for the following new symptoms:
Changes in mental status, such as excessive sleepiness, memory problems, or
inability to concentrate
Visual changes or other sensory problems
Difficulty with speech or in expressing yourself
Changes in behavior or personality
Clumsiness or difficulty walking
Nausea or vomiting (especially in middle-aged or older people)
Sudden onset of fever, especially after chemotherapy
Your health-care provider and the physician team in charge of your case should
discuss details about home care with you and your family members.
Home care usually includes supportive measures according to your symptoms.
For example, if you have trouble walking, you probably should have a walker
available at home when you need to walk.
If you have mental status changes, a care plan should be directed to your
If your prognosis is poor, it is appropriate to discuss options of hospice care,
advance directives to doctors, and provisions for a living will.
Home hospice care is a way of providing pain and symptom relief, as well as
emotional and spiritual support for the patient and the family, at home rather
than in the hospital. It involves a multidisciplinary approach that may include
a physician or other care provider, nurses, a pharmacist, aides, a social
worker, a spiritual caregiver, and counselors.
Advance directive and living will are legal documents that spell out
specifically which treatments are to be given and which are to be withheld. For
example, a person with advanced brain cancer may not want to be put on a
ventilator (breathing machine) if he or she stops breathing. You have the right
to make these decisions for yourself as long as you are mentally competent.
Once your brain tumor is diagnosed, you need to be very careful to keep all of
your appointments with consultants and your primary health-care provider. In
general, people with brain cancer are at increased risk for additional medical
problems and, potentially, reoccurrence or worsening of their symptoms.
After your treatment, you will be returning for follow-up visits with your
cancer team. A schedule of follow-up checkups and tests will be recommended. The
purpose of this follow-up is to ensure that any recurrence of your cancer or any
long-term effect of the treatment is identified promptly so that it can be
treated right away.
In general, there is no way to prevent brain cancers. Early diagnosis and
treatment of tumors that tend to metastasize to the
brain may reduce the risk of metastatic brain tumors.
The following factors have been suggested as possible risk factors for primary
brain tumors. Avoiding the factors that can be avoided may reduce your risk.
Radiation to the head