Benign Brain Tumor: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

A benign brain tumor is the increased growth of abnormal cells inside the brain or spinal cord. A benign tumor is not cancer. It usually grows slowly and does not spread to other parts of the body. Once removed, these tumors may not come back. But a tumor can cause serious problems if it presses on areas in the brain.

There are many types of benign brain tumors. Treatment depends on tumor type and location in the brain. Your doctor may want to watch a small tumor to see how fast it grows. You may get regular tests to watch the growth of the tumor. Benign brain tumors that cause problems may be treated with radiation, surgery, medicines, or a combination of these treatments.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you have any problems with your medicine.
  • Get some physical activity every day, but do not get too tired.
  • Share your feelings. Stress and tension affect our emotions. By expressing your feelings to others, you may be able to understand and cope with them.
  • Consider joining a support group. Sharing your experiences with other people who have the same problem may help you learn more and cope better.
  • Get help if you need it. Discuss your concerns with your doctor, counselor, or other health professional.
  • Be kind to your body and mind. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and taking time to do things you enjoy can contribute to an overall feeling of balance in your life and help reduce stress.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have a seizure (convulsions).
  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse nausea or vomiting.
  • You have new or worse headaches.
  • You have new symptoms of brain problems, such as weakness, numbness, speech, or vision changes.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.