If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, it’s important to understand your options and to consider what matters most to you in your lifetime.
It is normal to want to have conversations with your loved ones and care partners about the days, months, and years ahead. It is also normal to express your wishes to your loved ones and your health care team and to have your wishes documented.
One of your options towards the end of life is hospice care. At some point during your life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, it’s possible that your brain tumor will stop responding to treatment, and it’s also possible that you may choose not to undergo further treatment. In these instances, you and your health care team might consider hospice.
Hospice care is a specialized type of palliative care that focuses on supporting the quality of life of people who are living with an advanced, life-limiting illness. It treats the person and the symptoms of a disease but no longer tries to cure the disease or slow its progression. Hospice care supports the emotional and spiritual needs for the person to live and die with dignity. It also provides support to their family and loved ones with respite care and grief support.
Hospice care can be provided in a variety of settings such as at home, in a hospice house, in a nursing home, or at the hospital. Choosing to enter hospice does not mean “giving up,” and people are welcome to leave hospice if they choose to. However, by entering hospice as early as possible, patients and their families are able to receive the full benefit of compassionate care, comfort, support, and quality time together.
If you have questions about your prognosis or care, please talk to your health care team.
End of Life Key Questions
- What emotional support is available for me, my caregiver and loved ones to help us cope with my prognosis?
- Can hospice care be provided at home?
- What will my palliative care plan look like?
- Where can I and my caregiver go for assistance with a living will, power of attorney and health care proxy? Who should have copies of these documents?
- What’s important to make sure I have in my will?
- How can I donate my tumor tissue to research? Can someone on my care team provide assistance in finding a research program and arranging for the donation of my tissue?
- Can I be an organ donor?
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
The Conversation Project
Hospice Foundation of America
Patient Assistance Resources