Brain Tumor - Treatment

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Written by Dr. Sangamithra, MBBS | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Ramya Ananthakrishnan, MD on Apr 25, 2018
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Brain Tumor - Treatment

Treatment for brain cancer depends on the age of the patient, the stage of the disease, the type and location of the tumor, and whether the cancer is a primary tumor or brain metastases. The treatment plan is developed by the multidisciplinary team consisting of neurosurgeons, neurooncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. and the patient. It involves any combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Some tumors require several different surgical procedures, and some can be treated with radiation alone.

Surgery: Surgery is the treatment of choice for accessible localized primary brain tumors, when the patient is in good health. The goal of surgery is to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging nearby normal brain tissue.

Craniotomy: It is to remove as much of the tumor as possible. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and involves opening the skull (cranium).

Laser microsurgery: MRI is used to pinpoint the location of the tumor and a laser is used to destroy the tumor. This procedure may be used after craniotomy to remove remaining tumor tissue.

Brain-mapping: It is performed under local anesthesia and sedation. Electrodes stimulate nerves in the brain and measure responses. The surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible without damaging vital areas of the brain, such as those that control motor function and speech.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation is used when the entire primary tumor cannot be surgically removed. Radiation therapists use several different approaches to treat primary brain tumor like External-beam radiation, Brachytherapy, and Stereotactic radiosurgery, 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy and Proton beam radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is generally not a very effective treatment for most malignant primary brain tumors or metastatic tumors. The problem with chemotherapy is that it works by interrupting mitosis, the process of cell division. Many brain tumors grow slowly by nature, so slowing their growth by chemotherapy doesn't do much good. Chemotherapy is also used as a radio-sensitizing agent with radiation to control a recurrent tumor and to treat patients who can no longer tolerate radiation therapy.

Treatment of Brain Tumor

Supportive therapy

Immunotherapy: Various techniques that attempt to boost a person's immune system so that it more effectively fights the tumor cells is used as supportive therapy.

Gene therapy: Inserting genes into a person's tumor cells or immune system to change the way the tumor cells operate.

Steroid therapy: Steroids are drugs that are used to reduce the swelling that often surrounds brain tumors. Although steroids do not treat the tumor itself, they are very useful in improving symptoms and making you feel better. They may be used before or after surgery, or during or after radiotherapy.

Anticonvulsant medicines: Anticonvulsants are drugs to prevent epileptic fits. These medicines are prescribed for people who have brain tumors and also after brain surgery. Some commonly used types are phenytoin and carbamazepine.

Brain Tumor - References

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zzshell

My Mother in Law just had part of her brain tumor removed about a month ago. Since then she can not hold a normal conversation. It is like random things about her past and childhood. But its the same story everyday throughout the entire day. Is this a permanent side effect or will this fade as she gets better...

palomita_2015

How do you know if you have a brain tumor or if its a normal thing at the age of 14?

BigPete

My brother had a tumor removed a year ago. He seems to be doing fine some days and not so good other. After reading comments that other people have left, my brother is going through the same thing except he is seeing several doctors and everyone of them is treating him for something different, depression, steroids, thyroid,headache, parcason, ect. These are the things he is telling me?? I not so convince on all the drugs he is on but I'm not a doc. Is anyone else on a lot of drug?? Thanks

LovingU

I had a tumor of cancer removed from my brain 3 yrs ago and I have so many doctors and I take a lot of medications because I have all of them problems and fibromyigia then some. I don't like it all because i'm only 24 and it seems like I'm about 50. I know it seems unreal to you but it is just about ture.

Hi, my brother has a brain tumor. He lives in Ethipoia. The doctors said the tumor is 7 inch long and he is in a critical condition. I am working on the process to bring him here and to get a better help. However, after the doctors told him the side effects after the surgery, my brother refused to have the surgery. Please give me your comments on how I can help him to decide to have the surgery.

My younger cousin aged 18 yrs suffering from the brain tumor from last one year.Currently he is admitted into Inlacs Budrani hospital,Pune.He has diagnosed with the brain tumor situated just above the neck at the back of forehead. The doctors started the radiation therapy one year ago from 1st sept to 30 th oct 2011. After 5/6 months his brain got swelled beacause of the radation effect for which the doctors did a surgery in which they removed some part of skull so that the swelled brain should fit in the space. After 2/3 months again he is now suffering in which he can't swallow any food even his saliva so the doctors now have placed a tube inside his throat so that he can now survive on the liquid directly poured into it. Pls advice me some further medicatgion as we are uncertain about his health.He is again now admitted in the hospital and is under observation.

kuldeep13984

my mother had brain surgery almost 2 month ago and she is still suffering from pain and dizziness sometime she not even recognize us. her one hand and leg not working now and now week ago she fall down on the floor injured herself. i am really worried i don't know what to do doc says it takes time to recover i don't know how much

Clozano88

My mom had her tumor removed 3years ago an she still hasn't fully recovered. The doctor and a naturalist say that the tingly sensation On her surgery side will not stop until around 5 yrs cause that's when the Anastasia completely leave her brain. Just today she blanked out at the for a good 10 min and was mummbling jibber ish…I believe that everyone has different side effect and you just got to help her out. Just take it day by day cause it's a long healing process.

YonnaCMA

My mom also had brain surgery. She has had 2 actually. But she is doin fine for teh most part. She still has a little bit of short term meomory loss, and she may still get servere headaches, but for the most part she is doing very well. So like she said just take it one day at a time and also prayer works!

My mother was diagnosed with the worst case of glioma and she also had surgery to remove the tumor. After surgery the recuperation was brutal since she was dizzy all the time ans nauseas...She also fell a couple of time out of the bed and her last fall brought her to the emergency room and after 2 weeks of the fall she died.

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