Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Astrocytoma - Childhood

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 3/2013
Coping with Side Effects

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ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about steps to take to help cope with physical, social, and emotional side effects. This page includes several links outside of this guide to other sections of this website. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

Fear of treatment side effects is common after a diagnosis of astrocytoma, but it may help to know that preventing and controlling side effects is a major focus of your child’s health care team. This is called palliative or supportive care, and it is an important part of the overall treatment plan, regardless of the stage of disease.

Common side effects from each treatment option for astrocytoma are described in detail within the Treatment section. Learn more about the most common side effects of a tumor and different treatments, along with ways to prevent or control them. Side effects depend on a variety of factors, including the type of tumor, its grade, the length and dosage of treatment(s), and your child’s overall health.

Before treatment begins, talk with your child’s doctor about possible side effects of each type of treatment your child will be receiving. Ask which side effects are most likely to happen, when they are likely to occur, and what can be done to prevent or relieve them. And, ask about the level of caregiving your child may need during treatment and recovery, as family members and friends often play an important role in the care of a child with astrocytoma. Learn more about caregiving.

In addition to physical side effects, there may be psychosocial (emotional and social) effects as well. Families are encouraged to share their feelings with a member of their health care team who can help with coping strategies. Learn more about the importance of addressing such needs, including concerns about managing the cost of your child’s care

During and after treatment, be sure to tell the health care team about the side effects your child experiences, even if you feel they are not serious. Sometimes, side effects can last beyond the treatment period, called a long-term side effect. A side effect that occurs months or years after treatment is called a late effect. Treatment of both types of effects is an important part of survivorship care. Learn more by reading the After Treatment section or talking with your child’s doctor.

To continue reading this guide, choose “Next” (below, right) to see a section about what tests and check-ups your child will need after treatment is finished. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

Last Updated: 
Thursday, April 4, 2013

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