FACTS ABOUT BRAIN TUMORS
According to the Central Brain Tumor Registry, it’s estimated that nearly 80,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017. Our brain is responsible for our basic motor functions, thoughts, emotions, and more, and with a tumor, a person’s quality of life can rapidly decrease. There are two general types of brain tumors:
- Primary - this tumor starts in the brain or spinal cord. Primary brain tumors can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) and rarely spread to other organs. Localized treatment can be provided for primary brain or spinal cord tumors.
- Metastatic - this type of brain tumor is the result of cancer that originates elsewhere in the body before spreading to the brain. Metastatic brain tumors are always cancerous. Brain tumors interfere with the surrounding cells of the brain as they grow, damaging vital areas that play crucial roles in everyday life.
Learn more about the treatments available for brain tumors, the possible side effects from treatment, and more by clicking the links below.
- Signs and Symptoms
- Treating Brain Tumors
- Radiation Therapy
- Brain Tumor Resources
Signs and Symptoms Of Brain Tumors
The signs and symptoms associated with a developing brain tumor vary, depending on if the tumor is primary or metastatic, as well as the stage of the tumor and the patient’s personal health. Both types of brain tumors do share various symptoms, with full-body or localized seizures being one of the most prominent causes for concern. It’s common for brain tumor patients to experience severe headaches in the morning and changes in their personality or behaviors. Other warning signs of a brain tumor are:
- Sudden nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty with speech
- Difficulty with balance
- Difficulty with hearing
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Sudden onset of confusion
It is possible for other symptoms that are not on this list to manifest due to a brain tumor. If you notice any of these signs, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a doctor to screen for a brain tumor.
TREATMENT FOR PRIMARY AND METASTATIC BRAIN TUMORS
The treatment methods that are commonly used to treat brain tumors are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The type of treatment that will be most effective for the patient depends on the type, location, size, and grade of the tumor, as well as their overall personal health. It is also possible for a combination of these treatment to be prescribed based on the needs of the patient. In order to determine what will be the best treatment for you, you will meet with your doctor for an initial examination.
TREATING BRAIN TUMORS WITH RADIATION THERAPY
Treatment with radiation therapy consists of using a highly concentrated doses of radiation to attack and kill cancer cells, while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. When radiation comes into contact with the tumor cells, it prevents the cells from multiplying and spreading throughout the body. Also, the damage to the cancer cells eventually causes them to die off, since cancer cells lack the ability to regenerate. The healthy tissue cells on the other hand, can effectively regenerate from the radiation damage as the patient undergoes a short recovery period. You can learn more more about the various Types of Radiation Therapy and ask your physician what’s right for your particular case.
SURGICAL TREATMENT FOR BRAIN TUMORS
Performed by a neurosurgeon, surgery to treat a brain tumor is designed to minimize injury to vital nerves, allowing the patient to maintain normal body function in most cases. Sometimes, surgery is the only treatment option available due to the location, size, and stage of the tumor. Surgery will often be combined with radiation treatment to reduce the risk of a patient’s tumor recurring or spreading.
brain tumor medical Therapy (CHEMOTHERAPY)
Chemotherapy is provided by a medical oncologist, who will use various types of medication that effectively target and kill cancer cells in the body. The difference with medical cancer therapy is that it treats the whole body instead of a localized area, which can help with preventing cancer from spreading. The medication can be delivered in either a pill or intravenous (IV) injection form, but which one will be used depends on the stage and type of tumor. The medical oncologist will determine the frequency and dosage level that is appropriate for each patient.
Contact Your Local Juneau, AK Cancer Center!
If you want more information, or have questions about brain tumors, symptoms, or available treatments, just contact the cancer treatment experts at Southeast Medical Oncology Center in Juneau, AK. Contact us today to connect with our medical staff or schedule a consultation.
BRAIN TUMOR RESOURCES
American Brain Tumor Association
Brain Tumor Foundation
National Brain Tumor Society
Also see Helpful Links
*Content provided by the American Society for Radiation Oncology, www.rtanswers.org, and the American Cancer Society.