Ask the Doctor: Recovery from Brain Cancer

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Question:
I am female who was diagnosed with brain cancer (Gliobastoma Multiforme right temporal lobe)in 1995. I underwent a craniotomy, chemotherapy, and experienced ‘more than usual’ radiation to the area of my temporal lobe. How can I improve memory, concentration logic reading and cognitive skills?

Answer:

Thank you for your e-mail contact to Ask the Doctor. It appears that you have done well in your recovery and would benefit from some specific cognitive rehabilitation to focus on the issues which confront you. Have you had a neuropsychological evaluation to identify the specific problem areas as well as the areas of strength.? This type of evaluation would be helpful in determining the type of cognitive rehabilitation which will help you remediate the problem areas. Usually, cognitive rehabilitation occurs through Occupational or Speech Therapy or with specially trained educators. For some people, computer based cognitive retraining is very helpful.

Are you currently involved with your local Brain Injury Association in BC? The association usually can help you find a neuropsychologist who specializes in brain injury as well as identify programs and specialists in your community. The Ontario Brain Injury Association maintains an excellent web site with resources. The internet has many other brain injury resources which will be of assistance to you. You might to try biausa.org, the U.S. brain injury association, and look at the resource materials they offer.

I encourage you to continue your efforts to find help to address your cognitive problems. It sounds like you are motivated to achieve success which is critical. Please let us know if we can be of further help.

Sincerely,

Rolf B. Gainer, Ph.D., Diplomate, ABDA

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