Lifestyle Changes to Manage Brain Tumors

Some brain tumors may cause little or no problems. Others can make it hard to do daily tasks. Lifestyle changes may help you better control these problems.

Seizure Precautions

You may not be able to use certain machinery such as a car, if seizures can't be controlled. Most states have laws against driving a car or truck on a public road for at least 6 months from your last seizure. In some cases, driving may be banned completely.

A social worker can help you arrange for rides. They can also help you find someone to take over other duties that put you in danger such as mowing the lawn or using a ladder. Use your employer's resources to help you find a task that won’t put you or others at risk. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), they must do this for you.

Movement and Coordination Problems    TOP

Some tumors can make it hard to use your hands, arms, legs, or eyes. Some tasks like working with knives or power tools, may become dangerous. Different types of therapy can help you get back some of what you lost. It will also help you find the tools you need for daily tasks.

Thinking and Behavioral Problems    TOP

Thinking is complex. It involves memory, understanding, and intelligence. These can all start to worsen over time. It’s common for people to have changes in how they feel, think, or act. Talk to those close to you about your brain tumor. This may help to cut back on mix-ups and any problems linked to these changes.

These problems may go away after the tumor is treated.

Seek Support    TOP

Cancer is a life-defining event that can be hard to handle. It can be overwhelming to think and worry about treatment, changes, and uncertainty. Be sure to rely on family, friends, and other people in your life. People who allow themselves to seek help while they are recovering from cancer can often have a better emotional balance. Other sources:

  • Religious groups
  • Support groups for people with your type of cancer
  • Social workers and mental health professionals who are trained to help

Family and caregivers may also need support. Encourage them to seek support groups or counseling geared toward them.

Comfort Measures    TOP

Brain tumors found in later stages can be harder to treat. Some people choose treatments to help ease symptoms. Others choose to fully stop it. For some people, it may be realistic to start end-of-life planning. Aspects may include:

  • Choosing home or hospice care
  • Financial decisions
  • Advance directives—includes legal issues, like wills, hospital orders for your care, and power of attorney for medical care and finances
  • Insurance coverage

If you need guidance, talk to your healthcare team. You can be referred to a trained professional to guide you through the process.

References:

About brain tumors. American Brain Tumor Association website. Available at: https://www.abta.org/about-brain-tumors. Updated August 8, 2018.
Astrocytoma and oligodentroglioma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 13, 2016. Accessed August 8, 2018.
End of life care. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/end-of-life-care.html. Accessed August 8, 2018.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116926/Meningioma. Updated January 19, 2017. Accessed August 8, 2018.
Stay healthy. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/healthy.html. Accessed August 8, 2018.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 8/8/2018

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