Because of the tendency of brain metastases to recur and the possible side effects of these cancers and their treatments, long-term follow-up examinations are always advised.
Following surgery, an MRI scan is performed to determine the extent of tumor removal and to help plan further treatment. Repeat MRI scans are also done on an ongoing basis after radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Physical examinations are done frequently to detect tumor recurrence or side effects of treatment. It is important to report any new symptoms, such as headache, to your doctor right away, since they may indicate cancer recurrence or side effects of treatment.
Other Support Services
Patients and their caregivers tend to find the burden of illness lightened when they can share it with others. One way to do this is by taking advantage of support services available to them. To help patients manage some of the issues that can come up during and after treatment, Memorial Sloan-Kettering offers a wide range of programs for patients, including the following:
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Counseling Center
Our Counseling Center offers individual and family counseling sessions to help patients and their families address the problems that they may encounter in adjusting to life during and after treatment.
- Integrative Medicine Service
Our Integrative Medicine Service is designed to enhance cancer patients' quality of life through healing regimens that address the body, mind, and spirit. Beneficial complementary therapies include various types of massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization, and other mind-body therapies, music therapy, and nutritional counseling, as well as classes such as yoga, t'ai chi, and chair aerobics.
- Rehabilitation Therapy
Physical rehabilitation is an important part of the care Memorial Sloan-Kettering provides patients with metastatic brain tumors. Our expert team of physical and occupational therapists works closely with the medical team to decrease the burden of disease on patients and their families.
Regardless of the symptoms of the tumor and the type of medical treatment patients undergo, Memorial Sloan-Kettering's rehabilitation team aims to improve patients' function and enhance their quality of life. To achieve these goals, we educate patients and their families on specific mobility precautions and provide the therapeutic exercises, cognitive training, and energy conservation techniques that each patient will benefit from most. We also provide patients who need them with assistive devices such as a cane or walker, and instruct them in exercises to improve balance, strength, and endurance.
To learn more about the role of rehabilitation services in the care of cancer patients, visit our Rehabilitation section.
- Help for Older Patients
A diagnosis of cancer is difficult at any age, but older patients face unique challenges. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is committed to providing cancer patients aged 65 and older with the treatment, facilities, and support they need.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering offers the services of a multidisciplinary geriatric team, which includes physicians, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, nutritionists, and psychiatrists, as well as members of the Pain and Palliative Care Department and the Integrative Medicine Service. The programs and care the team provides focus on the needs of elderly cancer patients.
For more information about our services for older patients as well as for their family and friends, visit the Help for Older Patients section of our Web site.
Access Information Through our Patient Portal
Memorial Sloan-Kettering offers a secure Web site — called MYMSKCC — for patients to access personalized information about their care. If you enroll to use MYMSKCC, you can view, confirm, and keep track of appointments; access over 300 lab results; make changes to contact and insurance information; communicate with your healthcare team and other staff using secure electronic messages; and pay bills and view balances. Learn more about MYMSKCC.
To enroll in MYMSKCC, please ask a session assistant in clinic or contact your physician's office.