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Brain Cancer (cont.)

Self-Care for Brain Cancer

The person's health-care provider and the physician team in charge of their case should discuss details about home care with both the patient and family members.

  • Home care usually includes supportive measures needed according to the patient's symptoms. For example, walkers may be given for those patients who have gait or minor balance problems.
  • If a person has mental-status changes, a care plan should be directed to the patient's individual needs. For example, a caregiver may be assigned to administer the patient's daily medications.

If the patient's prognosis is poor, it is appropriate to discuss options of hospice care, advance directives to doctors, and provisions for a living will.

  • Home hospice care is a way of providing pain and symptom relief, as well as emotional and spiritual support for the patient and the family, at home rather than in the hospital. It involves a multidisciplinary approach that may include a physician or other care provider, nurses, a pharmacist, aides, a social worker, a spiritual caregiver, and counselors.
  • Advance directives and living wills are legal documents that spell out specifically which treatments are to be given and which are to be withheld. For example, a person with advanced brain cancer may not want to be put on a ventilator (breathing machine) if he or she stops breathing. Patients have the right to make these decisions for themselves as long as they remain mentally competent. They may also wish to designate someone to make such decisions for them should they become unable to do so later. Such a document is called a durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions. Directives should be available to health-care personnel, especially when any emergent change in the person's condition occurs, otherwise a person's care directives may not be done.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/7/2014

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