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Brain Cancer (cont.)

Brain Cancer Follow-up

Once a brain tumor is diagnosed, the patient needs to be very careful to keep all appointments with consultants and the primary health-care provider. In general, people with brain cancer are at increased risk for additional medical problems and, potentially, reoccurrence or worsening of their symptoms. Survivor care plans summarizing both the treatments a patient has received and recommendations for follow-up and symptom management should be requested of the treating doctors.

After treatment, patients will be returning for follow-up visits with their cancer team members. A schedule of follow-up checkups and tests will be recommended. The purpose of this follow-up is to ensure that any recurrence of cancer or any long-term effect of the treatment is identified promptly so that it can be treated right away.

How Can People Prevent Brain Cancer?

In general, there is no known way to prevent brain cancers. However, early diagnosis and treatment of tumors that tend to metastasize to the brain may reduce the risk of metastatic brain tumors. Avoiding or reducing contact with radiation (especially to the head) and avoiding toxic chemicals associated with the oil and rubber industry, embalming chemicals, and other environmental toxins may help prevent brain cancers. Avoiding HIV infection is also suggested.

The popular press and some web sites suggest that avoiding cell phone use and using a macrobiotic diet will help avoid brain cancer. Currently, there is no good evidence for these claims. In December 2010, a large study of about 59,000 cell phone users, with use times ranging over five to 10 years, claims that no substantial change in brain cancer incidence could be found in these individuals. Investigators suggest that "high usage" of cell phones over long time periods is yet to be investigated. The National Cancer Institute in 2016 published findings from several studies that summarize findings; most do not show any relation between cell phone use and cancer. However, for those who want to minimize any radiation dose from cell phones, the reader can consult the web for a list of phones that produce the highest and lowest radiation levels.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/20/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

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Metastasis to the brain is the most feared complication of systemic cancer and the most common intracranial tumor in adults.

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