What Are The Treatments For Benign And Cancerous Brain Tumors
People with brain tumors have several treatment options. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Many people get a combination of treatments.
The choice of treatment depends mainly are:
- The type and grade of brain tumor
- Its location in the brain
- Its size
- Your age and general health
For some types of brain cancer, the doctor also needs to know whether cancer cells were found in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Your doctor can describe your treatment choices, the expected results, and the possible side effects. Because cancer therapy often damages healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. You and your health care team can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your medical and personal needs.
You may want to talk with your doctor about taking part in a clinical trial, a research study of new treatment methods. See the Taking Part in Cancer Research section.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat brain tumors include neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and neuroradiologists.
Questions to ask your doctor before having brain tumor treatment
Can you recommend other doctors who could give me a second opinion about my treatment options? How often should I have checkups?
Typically Brain Tumors Dont Have Obvious Symptoms
Headaches that get worse over time are a symptom of many ailments including brain tumors. Other symptoms may include personality changes, eye weakness, nausea or vomiting, difficulty speaking or comprehending and short-term memory loss.
Even benign or non-cancerous tumors can be serious and life threatening. If you experience these symptoms, speak with your doctor right away.
Brain Tumor Vs Brain Cancer
All brain cancers are tumors, but not all brain tumors are cancerous. Noncancerous brain tumors are called benign brain tumors.
Benign brain tumors typically grow slowly, have distinct borders and rarely spread. Benign tumors can still be dangerous. They can damage and compress parts of the brain, causing severe dysfunction. Benign brain tumors located in a vital area of the brain can be life-threatening. Very rarely, a benign tumor can become malignant. Examples of typically benign tumors include meningioma, vestibular schwannoma and pituitary adenoma.
Malignant brain tumors are cancerous. They typically grow rapidly and invade surrounding healthy brain structures. Brain cancer can be life-threatening due to the changes it causes to the vital structures of the brain. Some examples of malignant tumors that originate in or near the brain include olfactory neuroblastoma, chondrosarcoma and medulloblastoma.
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The Cause Of Brain Cancer Is Usually Unknown
Most people diagnosed with a primary brain tumor do not have any known risk factors. However, certain risk factors and genetic conditions have been shown to increase a persons chances of developing one, including:
- The risk of a brain tumor increases as you age.
- People who have been exposed to ionizing radiationsuch as radiation therapy used to treat cancer and radiation exposure caused by atomic bombs have an increased risk of brain tumor.
- Rare genetic disorders like Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Neurofibromatosis may raise the risk of developing certain types of brain tumors. Otherwise, there is little evidence that brain cancer runs in families.
Meningioma Treatment: Surgery Or Not
Sometimes, believe it or not, your doctor may recommend observation for meningioma, especially if its small and not causing problems. Youll have regular MRIs to check on it.
Otherwise, the main treatment for meningiomas is surgery to remove it, through a craniotomy or other procedure. Your doctor will go over what the operation will involve, the approach to access the tumor and what you can expect afterward.
How does a neurosurgeon operate on a meningioma? Its all about location. Depending on where the tumor is, each approach will be different. Tumors close to the surface are typically easier to access than those located along the skull base.
Skull base tumors are those located deep in the skull, behind the nose or eyes. These can be challenging, and call for surgeons with skill and expertise in this kind of surgery.
There are a number of new techniques in brain tumor surgery, even for tumors located deep in the skull, and some of these are less invasive.
One system involves a camera-assisted tube that gently moves brain tissue aside so surgeons can reach the tumor with less cutting, so patients can recover faster,
After your treatment you will have regular MRIs to ensure the tumor isnt returning.
In many cases, it wont. After 10 years, about 90 percent of patients who have had a meningioma have not seen a recurrence if the tumor is removed completely, including the part of the brain lining from which it grew.
The Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center
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What Type Of Doctors Treat Brain Cancer
Usually, the patient’s primary care physician or pediatrician helps to coordinate the treatment team of doctors to individually treat the patient. The treatment team may consist of oncologists, neurologists, radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and additional personnel like occupational and physical therapists and possibly speech therapists, depending upon the outcome of initial treatments. For patients who have terminal and/or inoperable brain cancer, hospice and other organizations may help the patient and their family and friends coordinate supportive care.
Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer
There is an ongoing concern by a number of people that cell phones cause brain cancer. Some reports in the popular press and some web sites suggest that avoiding cell phone use and using a macrobiotic diet will help avoid brain cancer. This situation has been exacerbated by a recent ruling to put cell phones on a list of items that “may” cause cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer . This was done because the IARC suggested that an increase in gliomas may occur with high use of cell phones. The IARC classified cell phones as group 2b carcinogens these substances are considered possibly carcinogenic, but evidence is limited in both humans and experimental animals. The report does not say that cell phones cause brain cancer.
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Other Types Of Brain Tumors
- Hemangioblastomas are slow-growing tumors, commonly located in the cerebellum. They originate from blood vessels, can be large in size and often are accompanied by a cyst. These tumors are most common in people ages 40 to 60 and are more prevalent in men than women.
- Rhabdoid tumors are rare, highly aggressive tumors that tend to spread throughout the central nervous system. They often appear in multiple sites in the body, especially in the kidneys. They are more prevalent in young children, but also can occur in adults.
Treatment Of Brain Tumors
Specific treatment for brain tumors will be determined by your child’s physician based on:
- Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
- Type, location, and size of the tumor
- Extent of the disease
- Your child’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include :
- Surgery. Surgery is usually the first step in the treatment of brain tumors. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible while maintaining neurological function. Surgery for a biopsy may also be done to examine the types of cells the tumor is made of for a diagnosis. This is frequently done if the tumor is in an area with sensitive structures around it that may be injured during removal. Chemotherapy
- Radiation therapy
- Anti-seizure medication
- Ventriculoperitoneal shunt . A VP shunt may be placed in the head to drain excess fluid from inside the brain to the abdomen. A VP shunt helps control the pressure inside the brain.
- Bone marrow transplantation
- Supportive care
- Continuous follow-up care
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A Meningioma Diagnosis May Occur When The Doctor Is Looking For Something Else
Brain tumor diagnosis is often incidental that is, the doctor discovers a tumor on a CT or MRI while examining the individual for another reason such as a head injury or another neurologic problem.
When a doctor diagnoses a meningioma, you will get further tests to find out how the tumor is likely to behave. Based on these data, a neurosurgeon will recommend removing the tumor or just watching it to see if it grows.
What Are Brain Cancer Symptoms And Signs
- fatigue, and
- pins and needles sensations and/or reduced sensation of touch.
These symptoms can also occur in people who do not have brain cancer, and none of these symptoms alone or in combination can predict that a person has brain cancer. Cancer can occur in any part of the brain . Primary cerebral lymphoma can occur but is rare so are craniopharyngiomas that are derived from the pituitary gland. A few brain cancers may produce few or no symptoms .
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What Are Possible Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy
The side effects of radiation therapy to the brain may not occur until two to three weeks after the start of your therapy. Many people experience hair loss, but the amount varies from person to person. Hair may grow back once therapy is finished.
Skin irritation is the second most frequently reported side effect. The skin around your ears and scalp may become dry, itchy, red, or tender. Do not try to treat this side effect on your own. Seek professionalism medical treatment as soon as it occurs. Fatigue is another possible side effect. The best way to fight fatigue is to get on a daily exercise regimen that is tolerable and sustainable, eat a healthy diet, and rely on friends and family for support. Your normal energy levels should return about six weeks after you finish your therapy. Fatigue may be the worst two to three weeks after you complete prolonged radiation treatment
Edema is also a common side effect. Tell your oncologist if you have a headache or a feeling of pressure. The doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce brain swelling, prevent seizures, or control pain. If you receive chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the same time, you may experience more severe side effects. Your doctor can suggest ways to ease these symptoms.
Other possible side effects include:
- hearing problems
Holistic Treatment At Immunity Therapy Center
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a brain tumor, its important to be aware of the options that are available for treatment and understand that it is not a situation you have to go through alone. Here, at Immunity Therapy Center, we offer various natural and alternative options for brain cancer treatment. Every individual who is going through cancer has a very unique experience. The team members at our center understand that it is incredibly important to have a dedicated community that puts the cancer patients and their needs first. This is why we offer a supportive network of individuals who can provide hope, positivity, and knowledge to patients undergoing cancer treatment.
Dr. Carlos Bautista is a Board Certified Medical Doctor. He received his Medical Degree from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and has more than 20 years of experience working with Alternative Medicine to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic degenerative diseases, and infectious diseases. He opened Immunity Therapy Center in 2007 with the goal of providing the highest quality medical care for more than 5,000 patients.
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Why Do People Get Brain Tumors
Doctors are not sure what causes most brain tumors. Mutations or defects in genes may cause cells in the brain to grow uncontrollably, causing a tumor. The only known environmental cause of brain tumors is having exposure to large amounts of radiation from X-rays or previous cancer treatment.Read more
Brain Tumour facts: 10 things you should know about brain tumours | Cancer Research UK
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Can Blood Test Detect Brain Tumor
Blood tests are not used to diagnose brain or spinal cord tumours. However, they are routinely done to provide a baseline before any planned treatment. They can provide helpful information about your general health, how other organs are functioning, other medical conditions and the possible risks of treatment.
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What Happens At The End
What happens at the end depends on how your brain tumour develops. Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse. They know your situation and might be able to give you specific information about what might happen.
When brain tumours grow very large, the pressure inside your head increases, causing drowsiness. At first it might be possible to control this by increasing your steroid dose. Eventually the steroids will not be able to reduce the swelling any further.
You might get headaches and sickness. These can often be controlled with painkillers and anti sickness medicine. But you might get drowsier and will need to sleep more often. This can come on quite suddenly or slowly. At this stage, you may be able to lead a relatively normal life. But you might sleep more than you used to.
Some people who have never had seizures , might have some in the last few weeks of their life. Your doctor can start you on anti epileptic medication if this happens.
Gradually you will need to sleep more and more and it may become more difficult to wake you. Eventually, most people slip into unconsciousness. You might be unconscious for a few days or weeks before you die. During this time you will need nursing care to make you comfortable.
How Is Brain Tumor Diagnosed
As with many medical conditions, the path to a brain tumor diagnosis begins with a physical exam. Your doctor will take a complete inventory of your symptoms and family health history. The exam likely will include an assessment of certain neurological functions, such as coordination, balance and reflexes.
If your doctor suspects a brain tumor, the next step likely will be an imaging test, such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging . Brain tumor diagnosis also might include various blood tests, an examination of the cerebrospinal fluid , or a biopsy .
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Everything Else You Need To Know
What causes a tumor? Schwartz says some genetic disorders can lead to brain tumors. “But the majority of tumors arise in people with no known risk factors or predisposing factors,” he explains. Children and adults over 60 are more likely to develop tumors, but “everyone is at risk at any age,” he adds.
Despite what you may have heard, cell phones are not a known risk factor. “That’s a common misconception, but there’s no compelling evidence that pushes us to consider a link between cell phones and tumors,” he says.
For large or malignant brain tumors, treatments could involve surgery, medications, radiation, or chemotherapy. The good news: Not all brain tumors are serious. “Many tumors are small and benign, and require no treatment,” Schwartz explains. “If we find one, we’ll just monitor it for growth or changes.”
Personality Changes Or Mood Shifts
Tumors in the brain can disrupt brain function, affecting your personality and behavior. They can also cause unexplained mood shifts. For example:
- You were easy to get along with, but now youre more easily irritated.
- You used to be a go-getter, but youve become passive.
- Youre relaxed and happy one minute and, the next, youre starting an argument for no apparent reason.
These changes can occur early on from the tumor in the brain, but personality changes can also develop as a result of chemotherapy or other cancer treatments.
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Causes And Risk Factors For Brain Cancer
The exact cause of brain cancer is unknown. However, factors that can increase your risk of brain cancer include exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation and a family history of brain cancer.
Cancer in another part of your body is also a risk factor for developing a tumor in the brain, though these arent called brain cancer. They are cancers that have spread to the brain.
Cancers that commonly spread, or metastasize, to the brain include:
- melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer
Other factors that might be related to developing brain cancer include:
- increased age
- long-term smoking
- exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer
- working with elements that can cause cancer, such as lead, plastic, rubber, petroleum, and some textiles
Treatments For Brain Tumors In Dogs
Treatment for a brain tumor in dogs will vary based on the type of tumor that is diagnosed.
Since brain tumors in dogs can range from cancer to benign tumors, each dog will require their own treatment plan that is tailored to fit their needs.
- Surgery: In some cases of a benign brain tumor, surgical removal of the tumor can be curative. This will involve the help of a board certified veterinary neurologist that can skillfully remove the brain tumor.
- Chemotherapy: If the tumor is unable to be surgically removed or is the result of metastasis, chemotherapy may be an option. Chemotherapy can help to shrink the tumor, and possibly reduce symptoms due to the change in size. This will often involve the help of a veterinary specialist, though some standard vet clinics can perform chemotherapy.
- Radiation: Radiation can also be used to reduce the size of a brain tumor when surgery is not an option, or can be used after surgery to take care of any tissue that has been left behind. If your dog does require radiation to treat their brain tumor, they will need to seek the help of an experienced radiation therapist.
- Medical Management: Some dogs may benefit from the addition of daily medication. Dogs with brain tumors may require steroids to decrease the severity of symptoms, as well as anti-seizure medications to control their seizure activity.
No matter the route of treatment that your dog takes, you can expect to have a close relation with your veterinarian going forward.
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