Over 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.