- What happens after treatment for adult brain and spinal cord tumors?
- Recovering from the effects of the brain or spinal cord tumor and its treatment
- Keeping copies of your medical records and health insurance
- Lifestyle changes after having an adult brain or spinal cord tumor
- How does having an adult brain or spinal cord tumor affect your emotional health?
- What happens if treatment for an adult brain or spinal cord tumor is no longer working?
Recovering from the effects of the brain or spinal cord tumor and its treatment
The possible effects of the tumor and its treatment on your physical and mental function can range from very mild to fairly severe.
Once you have recovered from treatment, doctors will try to determine if damage was done to the brain or other areas. Careful physical exams and imaging tests (CT or MRI scans) might be done after treatment to determine the extent and location of any changes in the brain.
Several types of doctors and other health professionals may be involved in assessing any damage and helping you recover.
A neurologist (a doctor who specializes in medical treatment of the nervous system) may assess your physical coordination, muscle strength, and other aspects of nervous system function.
If you have muscle weakness or paralysis, you will be seen by physical and/or occupational therapists and perhaps a physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation) while in the hospital and/or as an outpatient for physical therapy.
If the speech center of your brain is affected, a speech therapist will help you improve communication skills.
If needed, an ophthalmologist (a doctor who specializes in eye problems) will check your vision, and an audiologist may check your hearing.
After surgery, you may also see a psychiatrist or psychologist to determine the extent of any damage caused by the tumor or surgery. If you get radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy, this process may be repeated again after treatment is finished.
If you were treated with surgery or radiation therapy for a tumor near the base of the brain, pituitary hormone production may be affected. You might be seen by an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in hormone disorders). If hormone levels are affected, hormone treatments to restore normal levels may be needed for the rest of your life.
Last Medical Review: 10/09/2012
Last Revised: 02/06/2013