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Tips to manage brain tumour patients

By Dr.G. Raghuram, Sr. Consultant Neurosurgeon and Spine Surgeon Neurosurgery, Columbia Asia Referral hospital Yeshwanthpur

Caring for a loved one who has a brain tumor can be a unique challenge. In addition to physical changes, people with a brain tumor can experience changes in their mood, personality, and thinking. As a result, caregivers often have a variety of responsibilities that can become overwhelming. Planning for this role will help you provide quality care while also taking care of your health and well-being.

While, a lot of people dealing with this condition have symptoms like headaches, seizures, weakness, vision, memory behavioural issues, and if not addressed on time then one-sided paralysis. And few don’t even have symptoms till the tumour reaches to a specific size. The condition of such people can be quite unpredictable.

The cause of brain tumour is still unknown. And the disease is neither restricted to a specific age. Usually, people above 60 years of age and with compromised immune system are more prone to this disease. Along with this, genetics, exposure to hazardous chemicals are few other factors that can cause brain tumour. Brain tumour symptoms can vary according to tumour type and location. Diagnosing a brain tumour can be a complicated process and involves a number of specialists.

There are different kinds of tumours and the treatment for them depends on various factors like-

  • Type
  • Size
  • Location
  • On one’s general health

The person diagnosed with brain tumor might feel numb, frightened and uncertain, confused, angry and resentful and guilty. All sorts of feelings are likely to come and go. Everyone reacts in their own way. One day they might feel positive and able to cope but the next day they might feel the exact opposite. This is natural.

However, people who undergo such medical treatments require care and attention. With a little help, most people can learn to manage their feelings and the changes brought on by a brain tumor and its treatment. As a care giver one can adopt the below mentioned tips:

Brain tumour surgery has become safer with advanced techniques such as Awake craniotomy in which patient is awake during surgery but with no pain or awareness and also use of advanced equipment such as Neuro-navigation which helps us to remove the tumour completely without injuring the other important Structures. 

It is normal to feel scared, insecure or angry about a brain tumour diagnosis and treatment. Emotional support by family and friends is very important during this phase. If you are a caregiver, you may also need support to help with your own stress. Do take psychiatric help in such cases. In addition to grief over your loved one’s condition, you may be feeling anxious and frustrated at the stress of caregiving and the way your own life has changed. They are very normal.