Taking care of yourself after treatment

After treatment is over, you will see your specialist for regular check-ups and sometimes scans. Always let them know if you have concerns and contact them anytime if you have new symptoms.

Some people may need different health professionals involved in their recovery. For example:

  • Physiotherapists – can teach you exercises to do at home to improve movement or coordination.
  • Speech therapists – they can help you if you have difficulty speaking clearly.
  • Occupational therapists – they’ll help you get back to doing everyday tasks.
  • Specialist nurse – they are your key contact if you have any problem after treatment.

It takes time to recover from the effects of treatment. Try to look after yourself by getting plenty of rest and taking some gentle activity. Eat healthily and look after your general health. If you feel depressed, talk to your specialist nurse who will give you advice and support.

Some people find complementary therapies or talking to people who’ve had a similar experience helpful. Support groups and online communities are a good place to share your feelings and get support.

After treatment

After your treatment has finished, you’ll have regular check-ups and possibly scans. Some people may still be having monitoring if all the tumour wasn't removed.

Many people find they get very anxious before appointments. This is natural. It may help to get support from family, friends or specialist organisations.

These appointments are a good opportunity to discuss with your doctor any worries or problems you have. If you notice any new symptoms in between check-ups, let your doctor or specialist nurse know as soon as possible. You can be seen earlier if necessary.


Help with your recovery

Different health and social care professionals can help you with your recovery. This can help you get back control over your life.

Physiotherapists

A physiotherapist can show you helpful exercises to do at home. This will improve your strength, restore any limb movement you've lost or help improve your balance and coordination.

Speech therapists

A speech therapist can help you overcome any difficulties you have with speaking. This is to make sure you’re clearly understood. They can also help if you have any problems with swallowing.

Occupational therapists

An occupational therapist will help you get back to doing everyday tasks. These could include washing, dressing, eating, shopping and managing your money. They may also provide equipment or arrange changes in your home to make life easier for you and your family.

Specialist nurses

You will still be in touch with your specialist nurse when you leave hospital. They are often the key person you are asked to contact if you have problems after treatment.

Your GP or the hospital staff can arrange for a district or community nurse to visit you at home, if you need this.

Some people may be referred to a specialist nurse who is an expert in assessing and managing symptoms caused by the tumour. They may be called palliative care or Macmillan nurses.

They also provide you and your family with emotional support and let you know about other services that are available to help you.

Emotional help

It’s common to have different and sometimes difficult feelings after cancer treatment. But as you recover and get back to your everyday life, these usually get easier to cope with. Talking to family and friends often helps. If you think you may be depressed, or feel sad, helpless or anxious a lot of the time, talk to your cancer specialist or nurse. They can refer you for expert help.


Taking care of yourself

After treatment, you're likely to feel very tired and you may still be coping with some side effects or symptoms. You may also be adjusting to changes in your life and this can be difficult.

It’s important to take care of yourself. Give yourself time and things will gradually improve. Try to follow the advice given by your specialist doctor or nurse.

Rest

Getting enough rest is important. Your body needs time to recover. Ask family and friends to help out so you save energy for the things you want to do. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need things done. Balance rest with some gentle exercise but remember to pace yourself.

Being active

Even regular short walks can help you to feel less tired and reduce stress. You can gradually build up what you do as you recover. You can read more about exercise and its benefits in our section about physical activity and cancer treatment.  

Try to eat well

Try to eat healthily, as this can help you recover. Eat plenty fruit and vegetables. Try to cut down on salt, red or processed meat, and foods high in saturated fats. There’s more information in our section about healthy eating

We have a booklet called Life after cancer treatment which gives advice on living well after treatment.

Stop smoking

If you’re a smoker, speak to your doctor for advice. Our section about giving up smoking has more advice and tips to help you succeed. 

Stick to sensible drinking guidelines

If you drink alcohol, stick to sensible drinking guidelines. These recommend that men drink no more than 3–4 units a day and that women drink no more than 2–3 units a day. Try to have a few alcohol-free days every week.

Complementary therapies

Some people find that using some complementary therapies help them to relax or cope with some treatment side effects. Some hospitals or support groups may offer therapies such as relaxation or aromatherapy. Our section on complementary therapies has more information.

Finding ways to cope

You may find it helps to try to carry on with life as normally as possible, by staying in contact with friends and keeping up your usual activities. Or you may want to decide on new priorities in your life. This could mean spending more time with family, going on the holiday you've dreamed about or taking up a new hobby. Just thinking about these things and making plans can help you realise that you still have choices.


Talking to others

When treatment finishes, many people find it helps to talk about it and share their thoughts and feelings with other people. You may find it helpful to join a self-help or support group. They give you a chance to talk to other people who’ve had similar experiences to you and learn how they coped. We have more information about local support groups.

There are also many forms of online support available. There are online support groups, social networking sites, forums, chat rooms and blogs for people affected by brain tumours. You can use these to talk about your experiences, ask questions and get advice.

Our online community is a social networking site where you can talk to people in chat rooms, write blogs, make friends and join support groups.


Share your experience

Talking about your experiences can be especially helpful for other people with brain tumours who are perhaps about to start their treatment. Just hearing about how you’ve coped, what side effects you had and how you managed them is very helpful to someone in a similar situation.

We can help you share your story, find out how to get involved.

Back to After treatment

Coping with changes

If the tumour or treatment causes changes to your mood, thinking or memory you can get help with this.