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 manage problems.

Seizure Safety Steps

People with uncontrolled seizures may not be able to use machines, such as a car. Most states have laws against driving a motor vehicle for at least 6 months from a person's last seizure. Some people may be completely banned from driving.

A social worker may be able to help a person arrange for rides. They may also to help a person find someone to daily tasks that may be dangerous, such as mowing the lawn or using a ladder. Employers can help their employees find tasks that will not put them or others at risk. People with seizures have legal support under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Movement and Coordination Problems

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

Thinking and Behavioral Problems

Thinking involves memory, understanding, and intelligence. These can all start to worsen over time. It is common for people to have changes in how they feel, think, or act. People with seizures should talk to those close to them about their brain tumor. This may help to cut back on mix-ups and any problems linked to these changes.

These problems may or may not go away after the tumor is treated.

Seek Support

It can be scary to think and worry about treatment, changes, and uncertainty. Family, friends, and other people in a person's life can help. People who seek help while they are being treated for cancer can often have a better emotional balance. Other sources of support are:

  • Religious groups
  • Support groups for people with brain tumors
  • Social workers and mental health therapists

Family and caregivers may also need support. They should seek support groups or therapy.

Comfort Measures

Some people choose treatments to help ease symptoms. Others choose to fully stop all treatments. Some people may need to start end-of-life planning. This may mean:

  • Choosing home or hospice care
  • Making financial decisions
  • Writing advance directives, such as wills, hospital orders, and power of attorney
  • Securing health coverage

References:

About brain tumors. American Brain Tumor Association website. Available at: https://www.abta.org/about-brain-tumors. Updated July 14, 2021.
Astrocytoma and oligodentroglioma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/astrocytoma-and-oligodendroglioma-in-adults. Accessed July 13, 2021.
End of life care. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/end-of-life-care.html. Accessed July 14, 2021.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/meningioma. Accessed July 13, 2021.
Stay healthy. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/healthy.html. Accessed July 14, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 7/14/2021

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