Consider Becoming a Medical Explorer in the Fight Against Brain Cancer

Patient recruitmentBrain cancer is a devastating disease. Patients and their family and friends are shocked when they are diagnosed with brain cancer. Many people can describe the event or series of events that were the tell-tale signs leading up to their diagnosis and are often overwhelmed with the volume of information and adapting to their “new normal”.

Standard treatment for newly diagnosed glioblastoma or anaplastic astrocytoma includes safe surgical removal of as much of the tumor as possible followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, despite these treatments, the tumor usually recurs. Patients and families may find it empowering to plan ahead with their care team to determine which options may be suitable for them in the event of a recurrence, including consideration of a clinical trial and becoming a medical explorer.

About the Author: Mary Lovely Ph.D. RN, CNRNs

Top Three Tips for Brain Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers

top-tipsOver the last 30 years I have supported hundreds of patients and their caregivers in their fight against brain cancer. From this experience, three of the most important things patients and their caregivers can do is:

  • Seek care at the most experienced institution near you that sees brain cancer patients every week. These are usually the larger medical centers and ideally will have a dedicated brain tumor center with a neurosurgeon that routinely operates on brain tumors and a neuro oncologist, a specialist in brain tumor treatment, who provides follow-up care.
  • Get help – you are not alone in this fight. Having the diagnosis of a brain tumor can be very isolating. Involve family, friends, and get involved with your local support group. A great list of support groups is available on ABTA’s website here: http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-treatment/brain-tumor-support/support-groups/. Support groups can be found in the community where people meet together or they can be on line. Also, ask your doctor, nurse or social worker about brain tumor support options in your area.
  • Consider clinical trials. Participation in a clinical trial may not be for everyone but if patients are interested, they can do research and talk with their doctor about clinical trial options. A great resource is here at: virtualtrials.com.

About the Author: Mary Lovely Ph.D. RN, CNRNs