Low-grade Glioma

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A low-grade glioma is a brain tumor. The tumor is formed by glial cells which support the neurons in your brain. Neurons are responsible for your movement, thought processing, and your senses. Most low-grade gliomas grow slowly and are more common in children and adults under 40.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

A low-grade glioma may grow and put pressure on nearby brain structures. The pressure may worsen your symptoms, such as vision and movement problems, seizures, and confusion. A growing tumor can also put pressure on your nerves and blood vessels. You may be a higher risk for a stroke, which can be life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Intake and output

is done so healthcare providers can keep track of the amount of liquid you are getting and urinating.

Oxygen

may be needed if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils.

Medicines:

  • Anticonvulsant medicine is given to prevent or control seizures.

  • Steroids are given to decrease swelling in the brain.

  • Antinausea medicine is given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.

Tests:

  • Blood tests are done to check for tumor markers and to monitor your organ function.

  • A neurologic exam is done to check brain function. Your healthcare provider will check how your pupils react to light. He may check your memory and how easily you wake up. Your hand grasp and balance may also be tested.

  • An EEG, also called an electroencephalogram, is done to monitor your brain wave activity. Small pads or metal discs are placed on your head. Each has a wire that is hooked to a machine. This machine prints a paper tracing your brain wave activity from different parts of your brain.

  • A CT scan, MRI, or PET scan of your brain is done to look check the size and location of your tumor. The tests are also done to check how well your treatment is working. You may be given dye to help your brain show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

  • A biopsy may be done to learn what type of tumor you have. A sample of brain tissue will be taken during a procedure or surgery and sent to a lab for tests.

  • An angiogram is done to look at the blood vessels in your brain. This test helps your healthcare provider find blood vessels that surround your tumor.

Treatments:

Treatment will depend on the location and type of tumor that you have. You may need any of the following:

  • Surgery can remove part or all of your tumor. Ask for more information about surgery for low-grade gliomas.

  • Chemotherapy can shrink and kill tumor cells. Once the tumor is smaller, you may need surgery to remove the rest. Your healthcare provider may request blood tests to see how much chemotherapy you need.

  • Radiation uses x-rays or gamma rays to kill tumor cells and keep them from spreading. Radiation may be given after surgery to kill any tumor cells that were not removed.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Low-grade Glioma (Inpatient Care)

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