We are seeing patients in-person and through Video Visits. Learn more about how we’re keeping you safe and please review our updated visitor policy. Please also consider supporting Weill Cornell Medicine’s efforts to support our front-line workers.

Astrocytoma

You are here

Holistic Approach to Treating Gliomas

The Glioma Program at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center offers a multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of primary brain tumors.While surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are important aspects of brain tumor treatment, we have found that our patients benefit from access to holistic services that help treat the neurologic consequences of their disease. To that end, we have assembled a broad team to offer integrated care for our patients.

In addition to neurosurgery, some of the services that an individual with a glioma may require are:

Integrative medicine recognizes the importance of treating the whole patient, including nutritional therapy, stress and grief management, and other emotional issues. An integrative medicine provider may recommend diet and exercise, yoga, acupuncture, or spiritual counseling. These have all been shown to improve quality of life during cancer treatment.

Pain management can be a key component of glioma treatment, since the pain of the cancer and/or the treatment can significantly affect a patient’s quality of life. There is no need to suffer pain needlessly – a pain management specialist has many options that offer relief, including medications, injections, and spinal cord stimulation.

Social work is an often-overlooked element of patient care but is critical for an individual with a glioma. These patients often have issues with home care, finances, insurance, transportation, and more. Often overlooked, caregivers frequently need assistance as well.

Palliative care experts can help manage symptoms of pain and fatigue associated with a cancer diagnosis with the ultimate goal of improving comfort and easing anxiety. Their emphasis is on quality of life and daily function. In addition, they assist in improving quality of life for patients with terminal cancer.

Neuropsychology can be a great help for the metastatic brain tumor patient, who may be experiencing both cognitive side effects of the tumor or its treatment and emotional issues related to their condition.

This approach means having access to a system that delivers comprehensive care to promote an individual’s physical, psychological, and social well-being. It means access to nutritional counseling, clinical psychology services, acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, pain management, and meditation training. It means access to group seminars and social workers who can assist with some of the practical problems facing patients and families with cancer. It means helping our patients achieve peace of mind.

Reviewed by: Rohan Ramakrishna, MD
Last reviewed/last updated: June 2019