Radiation therapy to the brain can cause problems months or years after treatment ends. Side effects can include memory loss, problems doing math, movement problems, incontinence, trouble thinking, or personality changes. Sometimes, dead tumor cells can form a mass in the brain, which is called radiation necrosis (the death of living tissue).
Ways to manage
You will need to have check-ups with your doctor or nurse for the rest of your life. If you have symptoms, you will have tests to see whether they are due to the cancer or late side effects.
If you have late side effects, your doctor or nurse practitioner:
- Will talk with you about ways to manage late side effects
- May refer you to a physical, occupational, or speech therapist who can help with problems caused by late side effects
- May prescribe medicine or suggest surgery to help with the symptoms.