Revised: Feb. 2004
Patients with primary brain tumors generally should have ongoing care from their oncologist as well as their family physician. The patient’s neuro-surgeon or neurologist may share the follow-up with the oncologist. If the patient appears to have rehabilitation needs post treatment, the oncologist will refer the patient to either the rehabilitation counselor or to a community resource that can address these needs. An appointment should be arranged for 4 to 6 weeks after the last treatment.
The oncologist will review the patient by clinical evaluation and imaging studies at regular intervals to monitor the response of the tumor to treatments and check for recurrence of the cancer. The Oncologist also will check for side effects of radiation or drugs used treatment. This may involve tests of brain function, quality of life assessment or blood tests.
The family doctor plays an important role in the day-to day care of the patient within their community. The family doctor monitors the patient’s general condition in addition to checking anti-convulsant levels and maintains those prescriptions as well as prescribes other medications that may be required for symptom relief or for other medical problems. The family doctor is often involved with the Home care Nursing team in the community to provide better at home management. The Home care team may help to coordinate the Community resources that may be required to maintain an incapacitated individual within the home setting for as long as possible (e.g. physiotherapy, occupational therapy speech therapy, hospice).