Monitoring brain tumours

This may be an option for some people with low-grade or benign tumours. It means choosing to wait and see if the tumour grows and causes symptoms, or if your symptoms get worse before you have treatment. Your specialist doctor will explain the benefits and risks of monitoring.

Monitoring might be suitable for people who have small tumours. It may also be an option when an operation would be difficult because of the tumour’s position or because of the risk of complications.

Some people may have monitoring after surgery if all of the tumour hasn’t been removed. It means you may be able to delay having further surgery or radiotherapy if you don’t have symptoms that are causing problems.

When monitoring the tumour, you will see your specialist doctor regularly at a clinic. You will have regular scans to check for changes in the size of the tumour. Your doctor will tell you about possible symptoms to look out for. They will ask you to tell them straight away if you have any new symptoms, or changes in your symptoms.

You may find monitoring difficult to adjust to at first, but people find it gets easier with time. Your specialist nurse can give you support and advice on coping. Some people find it helpful to talk about how they feel with family and friends.

You may find it helpful to talk to people who may have had a similar experience to you. You could try joining a support group or online forum.