Brain 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.