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Where Are Brain Tumors Located

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Memory Loss: Recalling Or Registering Information

Linking cellular location and patient prognosis in brain tumors

You may forget objects, people, places, or events you knew before you got the tumor or forget most information about events that happened ever since you got the tumor .

A brain tumor, especially in the frontal and the temporal lobes,9 may affect your memory of objects, people, places, or events in your life. The inability to recall any such information that you knew before you had the brain tumor is known as retrograde amnesia.

You might also not be able to remember anything that happened since the brain tumor developed. This inability to process new information is known as anterograde amnesia.10 Sadly, memory loss may be an effect of the treatment as well.

Cytotoxics And Targeted Therapies

are a relatively new class of cancer drugs that can overcome many of the issues seen with the use of cytotoxics. They are divided into two groups: small molecule and antibodies. The massive toxicity seen with the use of cytotoxics is due to the lack of cell specificity of the drugs. They will kill any rapidly dividing cell, tumor or normal. Targeted therapies are designed to affect cellular proteins or processes that are utilised by the cancer cells. This allows a high dose to cancer tissues with a relatively low dose to other tissues. Although the are often less severe than that seen of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics, life-threatening effects can occur. Initially, the targeted therapeutics were supposed to be solely selective for one protein. Now it is clear that there is often a range of protein targets that the drug can bind. An example target for targeted therapy is the BCR-ABL1 protein produced from the , a genetic lesion found commonly in and in some patients with . This has enzyme activity that can be inhibited by , a drug.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Skull Base Tumor

There are no obvious causes for the development of skull base tumors. Risk factors may include:

  • Previous radiation therapy to the head to treat an infection of the scalp, or tumors of the head, neck or brain

  • Exposure to chemicals, including vinyl chloride, arsenic and herbicides

  • Certain genetic conditions

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Meningioma Symptoms Depend On Their Size And Location

Meningiomas present with typical brain tumor symptoms such as headaches, vision problems or seizures. A headache–even a severe one–on its own is seldom a symptom of meningioma or any other brain tumor.

Larger meningiomas can block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in hydrocephalus which can affect gait and memory. Other tumor locations can affect your sense of smell, vision, hearing or even the function of your pituitary gland.

What Is The Most Common Type Of Surgery To Remove Brain Tumors

Understanding Brain Tumors

    Surgery is the usual first treatment for most brain tumors. Before surgery begins, you may be given general anesthesia, and your scalp is shaved. You probably won’t need your entire head shaved.

    Questions should you ask your surgeon before having a brain tumor removed

    • Do you suggest surgery for me?
    • How will I feel after the operation?
    • What will you do for me if I have pain?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
    • Will I have any long-term effects? Will my hair grow back? Are there any side effects from using metal or fabric to replace the bone in the skull?
    • When can I get back to my normal activities?
    • What is my chance of a full recovery?

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    Classification Of Brain Tumors

    This information has been provided by the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors

    A listing of most of the tumors that occur in the brain or its surrounding structures is presented here. Sometimes a tumor may have more than one name. The descriptions of how the tumors behave refer to the most common patterns since there are always exceptional cases . Higher grade malignancies are, in general, expected to grow faster than lower grade malignancies.

    The comments on tumor treatment usually refer to conventional therapy and may not include promising new, investigational or experimental treatments. Radiosurgery may be an option for most of these tumors and its use depends upon tumor size, location and the individual patient’s case. If a tumor continues to grow despite treatment, additional surgery may be recommended. This also depends on the individual patient.

    Clinical trials are available for many of these tumors, particularly if they are malignant or recurrent. Specific tumors are listed alphabetically in the pages to follow. Discussions of spinal cord tumors , familial syndromes and the remote effects of carcinoma follow the alphabetical listing.

    It should be noted that this information is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be considered to be medical advice. Questions about a specific patient should be referred to a qualified surgeon or other physician.

  • Primary tumors of the brain
  • Are There Any New Developments In Treating My Disease

    Over the past decade, improvements in fractionated;and stereotactic radiotherapy are bringing new hope to patients with brain tumors, both in terms of survival and quality of life. A number of experimental drugs and therapies are also showing promise in clinical trials, including:

    • Angiogenesis inhibitors are drugs that interfere with the growth of blood vessels in the tumor, thus “starving” the tumor of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to grow. Treatment with these drugs is also called anti-angiogenetic therapy.
    • Immunotherapy is an experimental treatment that promotes the immune response against particular tumor antigens . There are many different types of immunotherapy of which a number are now approved for use while many are still being delivered in the controlled setting of a clinical trial.
    • New classes of biological agents targeted against various aspects of tumor cell signaling or metabolism.
    • Enhanced drug delivery methods are being evaluated in clinical trials.
    • Emerging re-irradiation treatment protocols for recurrent brain tumors are now available .

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    What Are The Symptoms

    Tumors can affect the brain by destroying normal tissue, compressing normal tissue, or increasing intracranial pressure. Symptoms vary depending on the tumorâs type, size, and location in the brain . General symptoms include:

    • headaches that tend to worsen in the morning
    • seizures
    • speech problems
    • vision problems, abnormal eye movements
    • weakness on one side of the body
    • increased intracranial pressure, which causes drowsiness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, sluggish responses

    Figure 2.

    Specific symptoms include:

    Clinical Trials For New Treatments

    Two Brain tumors found to be Multifocal Glioblastoma. Awake Craniotomy and surgical resection.

    Researchers are always finding new ways to treat metastatic brain tumors. These new methods are tested in clinical trials. Talk with your health care provider to find out if there are any clinical trials you should consider.

    Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center

    Every metastatic brain tumor, and every patient, is different. The specialists at Johns Hopkins take the time to determine which treatment or combination of treatments will be the most effective for you.

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    What Are My Treatment Options

    A variety of therapies are used to treat brain tumors. The type of treatment recommended depends on the size and type of the tumor, its growth rate, brain location, and the general health of the patient. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted biological agents, or a combination of these. Surgical resection is generally the first treatment recommendation to reduce pressure in the brain rapidly. This website focuses on radiation therapy for brain tumors.

    In the past two decades, researchers have developed new techniques of delivering radiation that target the brain tumor while protecting nearby healthy tissues. These treatments include brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy and radiosurgery.

    Radiation therapy may be advised for tumors that are sensitive to this treatment. Conventional radiation therapy uses external beams of x-rays, gammarays or protons aimed at the tumor to kill cancer cells and shrink brain tumors. The therapy is usually given over a period of several weeks. Whole brain radiation therapy is an option in the case of multiple tumors or tumors that cannot be easily targeted with focal treatment.

    Types of radiation therapy include:

    Meningiomas Can Grow In Different Places

    These tumors arise from cells in the meninges, the lining of the brain and spinal cord. So technically speaking, theyre not brain tumors at all since they dont result from mutated brain cells.

    But they still grow inside your skull, which means theres cause for concern. If a meningioma grows or causes swelling that presses against the brain or other structures in the skull, it can cause brain tumor symptoms.

    Potential origin sites for meningioma in the brain:

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    Metastatic Brain Cancer Treatment

    It is important to know that metastatic brain tumors are often treatable, and can be well-controlled. Generally, the faster you start treatment, the better the chances of killing or controlling the disease.

    The treatment options for brain metastases may include:

    • Surgery
    • Immunotherapy
    • Clinical trials

    In many cases, surgery or radiation therapy can improve or entirely get rid of symptoms. Read more about brain tumor treatment.

    What Is A Brain Tumor

    Signs and Symptoms

    A brain tumor is a collection, or mass, of abnormal cells in your brain. Your skull, which encloses your brain, is very rigid. Any growth inside such a restricted space can cause problems. Brain tumors can be cancerous or noncancerous . When benign or malignant tumors grow, they can cause the pressure inside your skull to increase. This can cause brain damage, and it can be life-threatening.

    Brain tumors are categorized as primary or secondary. A primary brain tumor originates in your brain. Many primary brain tumors are benign. A secondary brain tumor, also known as a metastatic brain tumor, occurs when cancer cells spread to your brain from another organ, such as your lung or breast.

    Primary brain tumors originate in your brain. They can develop from your:

    • brain cells
    • the membranes that surround your brain, which are called meninges
    • nerve cells
    • glands

    Primary tumors can be benign or cancerous. In adults, the most common types of brain tumors are gliomas and meningiomas.

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    The Most Common Brain Tumor: 5 Things You Should Know

    A brain tumor diagnosis can sound like a life-threatening situation. But although the symptoms of most brain tumors are the same, not all tumors are malignant.

    In fact, meningioma is the most common brain tumor, accounting for about 30 percent of them. Meningioma tumors are often benign: You may not even need surgery.

    Here are five key meningioma facts you need to know:

    What Is An Inoperable Brain Tumor

    In This Article

    Inoperable Brain Tumor is a tumor that is located in a surgically inaccessible place in the brain, or ones that are composed of multiple tumors and cant be all removed. Accessibility of the tumor is decided by the surgeon, depending on many factors, such as the possibility to access the tumor without damaging critical brain areas.

    It might also be a tumor that is too entangled with blood vessels and operating it would be a risk for patients life. Or there are concerns about the patient´s ability to survive the operation, in case of other concomitant diseases . All tumors can be classified into two big groups- benign and malignant.

    Benign tumors do not invade nearby tissue and do not spread to other organs, but their location may cause some brain function impairment. Malignant tumors are dived in two subgroups- primary and secondary. Secondary tumors are metastasis from cancer located in any other organ. Primary tumors arise from the tissue in the brain .

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    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?

    Radiation Therapy For Metastatic Brain Tumors

    Diagnostics used to reveal the size, location and nature of a brain tumor

    Radiation therapy treats metastatic brain tumors by using X-rays and other forms of radiation to destroy cancer cells or prevent a tumor from growing. It is also called radiotherapy.

    These painless treatments involve passing beams of radiation through the brain, which can treat cancers in areas that are difficult to reach through surgery. Procedures may include any one or a combination of the following:

    • External beam radiation therapy delivers radiation from a machine and through the body to reach metastatic tumors.
    • Whole-brain radiation targets the entire brain to hit multiple tumors or any metastatic disease that hides from an MRI scan.
    • Stereotactic radiosurgery; directs a high dose of radiation targeted to the specific shape of the tumor, sparing surrounding healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation exposure.
    • Proton therapy uses protons to treat metastatic brain tumors. Like stereotactic radiosurgery, proton therapy minimizes harm to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor.
  • Brachytherapy is radioactive material implanted within a tumor to prevent further growth.
  • These procedures may be performed after surgery to prevent tumors from recurring at the surgical site and growing into other brain tissue.

    Because radiation therapy has been so successful in treating brain metastases and because many live long lives after treatment studies are now looking at how to manage the long-term effects of treatment.

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    When To See A Doctor

    If youve been diagnosed with cancer elsewhere in your body and you start to experience strong headaches, tell your doctor. The cancer may have spread to your brain. Be ready to describe all your symptoms in detail. The nature of your headaches will help your physician make a better treatment plan.

    If you have no cancer history, see your doctor or a neurologist if a headache lasts for several days or weeks with little or no relief.

    A headache that continues to worsen with no response to traditional pain treatment should also be evaluated. Weight loss, muscle numbness, and sensory changes that accompany a headache should be checked promptly, too.

    What Kind Of Treatment Follow

    Regular follow-up treatment is extremely important after treatment for a brain tumor. Besides regular physical and neurological exams and blood tests, you may need periodic magnetic resonance imaging , MR spectroscopy, perfusion or diffusion MRI, and/or computed tomography . Positron emission tomography; scans are rarely used in patients with brain tumors, although they may be used to monitor extracranial disease. Your physician may also recommend home care, occupational or vocational therapy, pain management, physical therapy and participation in support groups.

    This follow-up care will help your physician to:

    • spot any sign that the tumor is returning
    • monitor the health of your brain
    • identify and treat the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy
    • detect the presence of other types of cancer at the earliest possible stage

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    Hearing Loss/issues & Issues With Balance:

    In brain tumors that affect VIIIth nerve, hearing loss or impairment, tinnitus is common. Hearing loss may be noted by a reduced ability to understand what is being spoken. The hearing loss may be gradual or sudden. If the tumors extend beyond and affect the vestibular system which is responsible for maintaining body balance, one may experience vertigo, dizziness, gait and balance issues . In some cases, the pressure of the infiltrating tumor may also cause facial pain or weakness. A benign tumor called the Acoustic neuroma can also cause similar conditions. Only a complete evaluation from a specialist will be able to diagnose the true nature and cause of the symptom.Besides the above common brain tumor symptoms, patients may experience other less common and vague symptoms such as lactation from breasts, growth spurts in feet or hands inability to look upward . Not all symptoms are representative of brain tumor. Some of these could also be due to benign tumors as well as other conditions or co-morbidities. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, individuals should consult doctors to help find the cause of the problem. If these signs are caused due to brain tumor, besides cancer treatment relieving symptoms is a major goal of treatment.

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    Should You Ask For A Second Opinion Before You Start Treatment For A Brain Tumor

    Molecular Basis of Pediatric Brain Tumors

    Before starting treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Some people worry that the doctor will be offended if they ask for a second opinion. Usually the opposite is true. Most doctors welcome a second opinion. And many health insurance companies will pay for a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. Some companies require a second opinion.

    If you get a second opinion, the doctor may agree with your first doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Or the second doctor may suggest another approach. Either way, you’ll have more information and perhaps a greater sense of control. You can feel more confident about the decisions you make, knowing that you’ve looked at your options.

    It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. In many cases, it’s not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. The delay in starting treatment usually won’t make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor. Some people with a brain tumor need treatment right away.

    There are many ways to find a doctor for a second opinion. You can ask your doctor, a local or state medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school for names of specialists.

    Also, you can request a consultation with specialists at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

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