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After treatment for a brain tumor ends, talk with your doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your recovery for the coming months and years. Many brain tumors have a high tendency to recur, so people should be routinely monitored for new symptoms with regular MRI scans. The frequency of the follow-up visits and the scans depends on the type of the tumor and other factors, so your health care team will talk with you about your exact schedule.
ASCO offers treatment summary forms to help keep track of the treatment you received and develop a survivorship care plan once treatment is completed.
As described in previous sections, a brain tumor and its treatments can affect the functioning of the brain, as well as the well-being of the patient. For this reason, it is important for your health care team to evaluate the cognitive abilities of your brain through specialized tests, typically given by a neuropsychologist (a psychologist who has special training in the brain's capacity and behaviors), and also to evaluate your quality of life. These evaluations could identify situations when specific rehabilitative therapies would be helpful, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, counseling with a social worker, and/or medications that can help to reduce fatigue or enhance memory. Learn more about rehabilitation.
Whenever possible, participation in a support group with other people diagnosed with brain tumors is highly encouraged.
People recovering from a brain tumor are encouraged to follow established guidelines for good health, such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a balanced diet, and having recommended health screening tests. Talk with your doctor to develop a plan that is best for your needs. Moderate physical activity can help rebuild your strength and energy level. Your doctor can help you create an appropriate exercise plan based upon your needs, physical abilities, and fitness level. Learn more about the next steps to take in survivorship, including making positive lifestyle changes.
Find out more about common terms used after treatment is complete.