Recurrence

Unfortunately, brain tumours can become active again at some point after treatment. This is usually discovered during a routine MRI, but sometimes symptoms occur that indicate the tumour is growing. These symptoms are often like the ones that occurred at the time of your diagnosis.

It is very important to keep medical appointments and keep communicating with your health care team.

If a recurrence is discovered:

  • You will meet with your neuro/medical oncologist to discuss the MRI results or your new symptoms and what type of treatment is best for your situation
  • Sometimes, another surgery is recommended. Surgery can help determine if the new symptoms or changes in your scan are related to side-effects of radiation (called radiation necrosis) or if the disease itself has returned
  • Surgery can also help to reduce the amount of tumour in your brain – this is called “debulking” or re-resection. This can be helpful in relieving neurological symptoms such as headache
  • Re-irradiation is rarely considered, but if you are a candidate for this treatment you will discuss this with your radiation oncologist
  • Your neuro/medical oncologist may discuss other types of oral chemotherapy with you
  • Bevacizumab is an intravenous treatment that may also be considered. This treatment affects the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the tumour and can also reduce swelling in the brain.