Adding Speech Therapy to Your Treatment

Any type of brain tumor has the potential to affect cognitive abilities of the patient such as their ability to speak. According to an article published by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Wire in 2012, around 30-50% of brain tumor patients will experience what is known as aphasia. Aphasia is the “loss of ability to understand or express speech”.

Each patient can have different symptoms before they are diagnosed, and those symptoms have the possibility to change after surgery or treatment. It is not uncommon for patients to take part in tests before, during, and after surgery.

Some tests that may be performed include The Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, Western Aphasia Battery, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, and Token Test. All of these tests can be taken by patients before, during, or after surgery. Tests taken prior to surgery can give a patient’s doctors a baseline to compare with any tests taken during or after surgery.

After surgery, patients may choose to seek out a speech therapist if they are still having trouble with any modalities of language, including language production, comprehension, reading, and writing. Patients may be in therapy for a few months or could be treated longer after surgery if they have more difficulties.

Speech therapists can also be helpful for patients having difficulty eating and/or swallowing.

Find a certified speech therapist through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) searchable database.

Sources: ASHAWire: “Treating Cancer-Related Aphasia”

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