Deciding whether to have treatment

Treatment can be given for different reasons and the possible benefits will vary depending upon your individual situation. You may feel frightened at the idea of having treatment for a brain tumour because of the possible risks or side effects. Your specialist doctor or nurse will talk to you about this. They will explain any risks and what can be done to reduce or help you to manage side effects.

If you have been offered treatment that aims to cure the tumour or control it for a long time, deciding whether to accept it may not be difficult. But even in this situation, making decisions can be hard. You may have to weigh up any possible risks or side effects, against the benefits of treatment.

If the tumour is high-grade, treatment may be able to control it. This may improve symptoms and give you a longer, better quality of life. But for some people in this situation, treatment may not have any effect on the tumour and they may get the side effects without any of the benefits.

Making decisions about treatment in these circumstances is always difficult, and you may need to discuss in detail with your doctor whether you wish to have treatment. If you choose not to have it, you can still be given supportive (palliative) care, with medicines to control any symptoms.

Back to Coming to your decision

Finding out your treatment options

Knowing basic information about your type of cancer and different treatments options can help you to make an informed treatment decision.

Making your decision

If you’re struggling to come to a decision about treatment, try following these five steps.