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When do headaches (post-surgery/radiation) become a problem?

Posts: 26
Joined: Apr 2011

Some background: I was diagnosed with GBM last October, had a 99+% resection, had standard radiation/Temador, and just finished my 6th round of 5/23 Temador and had a clean MRI last month. Unfortunately, I had my first seizure a few weeks ago and I am now on Keppra (1000 mg/day). I am still going to work, though I am really tired during the day. Throughout the entire process I have been getting mild headaches and have been getting them a little more frequently recently.

Here is my question: What are people's experiences with headaches (post-surgery/radiation) and GBM ? When and how do they get so bad that your oncologist starts to get worried? (mine are not worried right now)


palmyrafan's picture
Posts: 396
Joined: Mar 2011

While I don't have a GBM, I did have brain surgery, followed by traditional radiation therapy for my tumors.

I do remember that during and following the radiation, I did have headaches for about 6 months which seemed to lessen in severity over time.

You need to remember that your body (and your brain) have been through a lot in less than a year and radiation therapy can tend to swell the brain a bit, thereby causing headaches. As the swelling continues to go down, I would expect to see a decrease in your headaches as well.

Best of luck to you!


edslas's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Dec 2010

My doctors tell me the warning signs are:
1) Severe headaches that come on suddenly.
2) Headaches that wake you up at night.
3) Severe headaches that are accompanied by vomiting.

I recently had a episode like this. The doctor ordered a 'wet' CT scan to see if there was any bleeding - it was clean.

The doctor suggested that I take 2mg/day of decadron during chemo to help out - it seemed to work.

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