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Brain Tumor – Post Surgery

December 21, 2020


“The next portion of the therapy is the radiation temozolomide. So I’ll end up seeing the patient in my office right after their surgery has been completed. They may say, you know, I’ve had some nausea, maybe I’ve had some headaches. I may adjust their decadron, which again, is a medication that improves the swelling that some tumors can produce. And as a result, those symptoms are resolved. So we try to limit those symptoms by increasing their decadron or limiting the brain tumor swelling. During that time, quite often, they’ll need to have their staples taken out where the surgery was performed. And that usually is done about two weeks after their surgical intervention. After again, their post-surgical period, then they’ll end up starting the radiation therapy. A large majority of patients will experience some degree of fatigue as they go through their radiation therapy.

I would have to say 80 to 90% of individuals do experience some degree of fatigue. What other people can also experience is what we call alopecia or hair loss. And that hair loss is really focused on where the radiation is being provided to the brain. So that area where the radiation is going into the cranial vault, typically individual will lose hair in that area. Again, fatigue is the biggest thing that I see. There are some medications that we can use, but typically speaking, most people are able to tolerate the fatigue fairly well. It does typically occur or begin around the second week of radiation therapy and can last throughout therapy. Very infrequently, we have people that really don’t experience any fatigue or have delayed fatigue after their six weeks of radiation and temozolomide is undergone.”

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