If you’ve survived a glioblastoma, you have many reasons to celebrate. Of course, as with any type of cancer, glioblastoma survival is an ongoing process. While your treatment may have effectively addressed your brain tumor, it may also have affected your health, and these effects may stay with you over the long term. To achieve the best possible quality of life, it is important to learn what you can realistically expect over time and work with a medical professional who can help you manage any residual effects of your glioblastoma treatment.
How can glioblastoma treatment affect your health?
The lasting effects of brain tumor treatment can vary based on the type of treatment you received, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery. For instance, your glioblastoma treatment may have affected your:
- Hearing – Certain chemotherapy medications can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or hearing loss. Radiation therapy may also have affected your hearing if high-energy beams were directed toward your brainstem or ear.
- Vision – If your tumor was located near your optic nerve and radiation therapy was targeted toward that area, you may have experienced vision changes or be more likely to develop cataracts.
- Oral health – Some forms of glioblastoma treatment can increase your risk of developing cavities, thinning tooth enamel and tooth root problems.
- Hormone levels – If your thyroid, pituitary gland or hypothalamus was affected by your treatment, you may experience hormonal imbalances, which can result in growth and reproductive issues as well as osteoporosis.
- Cognition – If you received radiation therapy or if surgery was performed in your cerebral hemisphere, your memory, motor skills, learning ability or behavior may be affected (depending on the specific area of your brain that was treated).
Whether your glioblastoma treatment is ongoing or complete, the multispecialty team in the Neuro-Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center can help you manage both the short- and long-term health effects of your tumor and its treatment. Request an appointment by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.