Brain Tumor Treatments
Learning you have a brain tumor is one of the most devastating diagnoses to grasp. These tumors, if benign, can negatively affect different areas of the skull as they grow, causing one to lose critical functioning related to speech, balance and more. If malignant, the tumor can spread into surrounding tissue and destroy it. Different brain tumors can grow at different speeds. Some may result in seizure activity and mood disorders, among other symptoms. Thankfully, there are a number of modern medical treatments available that a patient may undergo in order to have brain tumors removed or halted, so that they can return to living a normal life.
Traditional brain surgery remains the most common treatment for removable brain tumors. This type of surgery requires surgical expertise to spare related portions of the brain vital to normal functioning. Today it is possible to use imaging techniques to assist surgeons in locating the tumor and avoiding harm to nearby areas. Tumors may be removed partially or fully, depending on whether it is possible to remove all of the affected tissue. Surgery is performed through opening the skull, which is called a craniotomy. Hospital recovery is required due to the invasive nature of the procedure and risk of infection.
For malignant tumors that cannot be removed surgically or to assist with preventing tumors from returning following surgery, chemotherapy may be used to stop their progression. Patients receive cancer fighting medicine either intravenously or orally based on doctor recommendation. These treatments are able to bring about a new sense of recovery for patients, with drugs being given in cycles to best fight affected cells. Doctors may also decide to implant slow release chemotherapy wafers at the sight of tumors during surgery. The drugs are then released into the brain over time, helping to combat cancerous growths.
Traditional external radiation treatments may be recommended to stop the advancement of or treat brain tumors. A three-dimensional picture of the brain is created, which helps to pinpoint the best treatment plan. The amount of radiation to be used is then decided, including the dose and the location of beams which are directed specifically to the affected area involved. This process is then carried out under the direction of a qualified radiation oncologist over a recommended time period.
One technologically advanced means of controlling deep, inaccessible brain tumor growth is gamma knife treatment. This form of treatment is actually non-invasive and does not involve a scalpel. No general anesthesia is required and one treatment session is usually the norm. Gamma refers to high frequency levels of radiation that destroy tumor cells, while sparing vital surrounding tissue. Prior to the treatment, imaging is used to locate tumor locations precisely within the brain and help prepare a plan for optimum success. During gamma knife radiosurgery, patients wear a head frame, which allows them to receive several gamma ray treatments with pinpoint accuracy. Following the process, the tumor will cease to grow and continue to shrink over time or completely vanish.
Brain tumor clinics
A brain tumor clinic helps to advance the study of brain tumor treatment for the benefit of both patients and experts. This includes research projects which help to look for the latest scientific advancements possible. These clinics are known for devising the best interventions available for patients and helping to provide them with the necessary resources to cope with their diagnosis. Neurologists work with patients to help set up a comprehensive, individualized plan for their treatment. Brain tumor clinics are located throughout the country and can be easily contacted to obtain further information about specific programs and services available.