When you are being treated for a brain tumor, it is likely that you will have side effects. Depending on how advanced your cancer is, you may also have symptoms of the disease. For instance, cancer that has spread can cause symptoms such as pressure or pain, or it may interfere with the function of an organ.
The treatments to destroy cancer cells can harm healthy cells at the same time. That’s why treatment can cause side effects. These can affect each person differently. Some people have none, while others may have many. Some side effects may change over time, while others stay the same. Some may be temporary, while others may be permanent.
When side effects occur, they can interfere with your day-to-day life. These side effects can range from fatigue and hair loss to more serious problems, such as organ damage. Some side effects may worsen other symptoms. For example, if you’re depressed or not sleeping well, you may be tired. As a result, your pain may feel worse. Getting relief from one side effect may help you with others.
To help you feel your best during treatment, you’ll want to take these steps:
Learn how to talk with your health care team about how you’re feeling.
Understand the side effects of each medication. This will help you communicate these with your doctor if you have these symptoms.
Seek support from family and friends as well as associations.
Consider joining a support group so that you can talk with others who are going through a similar experience.
Ask your health care team for tips on how to cope with the most common side effects of treatment for a brain tumor. If you are concerned about changes in your ability to think and reason, you can also ask your doctor what can be done to help improve your cognitive health. Cognitive treatments may be especially important after cancer treatment ends.