After treatment for brain cancer

A brain or spinal cord tumour and its treatment can change how the mind and body work. You or your family members may notice changes in your speech, personality, memory, movement, balance and coordination. If you or your family feel like you are behaving differently, talk to your doctor, nurse or cancer care coordinator. The types of changes will depend on what part of the brain is affected by the tumour and what treatment you have had.

Rehabilitation is treatment designed to help people recover from injury or disease. After brain tumour treatment, most people need rehabilitation assessment and therapies. These can help restore your previous abilities or help you adjust to any changes. The changes may be difficult to cope with emotionally, and you might find that your self-esteem and your relationships are affected. Talking to a counsellor or someone who has had a similar experience may help. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to see what support is available close to you.

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Dealing with feelings of sadness

If you have continued feelings of sadness, have trouble getting up in the morning or have lost motivation to do things that previously gave you pleasure, you may be experiencing depression. This is quite common among people who have had cancer.

Talk to your GP, as counselling or medication – even for a short time – may help. Some people are able to get a Medicare rebate for sessions with a psychologist. Ask your doctor if you are eligible. Your local Cancer Council may also run a counselling program.

The organisation beyondblue has information about coping with depression and anxiety. Go to or call 1300 22 4636 to order a fact sheet.

Video: Rehabilitation after treatment

This video looks at common challenges facing people with brain cancer after treatment, such as the types of rehabilitation, brain tumours and driving, and returning to work.

This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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