Treatments Can Help the Brain
Brain tumors can produce symptoms even if they are benign. Surgery is often needed to establish diagnosis and treatment. The goal of surgery is to completely remove a tumor if safely feasible. For most benign primary brain tumors, surgery alone is usually sufficient. Metastatic brain tumors are often treated with radiation therapy delivered focally to the tumor if only a few or to the brain as a whole in the case of multiple tumors. Surgery is often reserved for metastatic brain lesions that produce symptoms or for brain tumors that do not have a diagnosis outside the brain. For primary brain tumors, a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation is often pursued, especially if the tumor is malignant. Glioblastoma is a very aggressive primary tumor where surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are the main treatment modalities.
Sometimes if a tumor appears to be benign and not causing any symptoms, it can be closely observed and monitored with a frequent MRI. Surgery can be undertaken if the tumor grows, causes symptoms, or appears malignant on MRI. An experienced brain cancer doctor can determine if this is a good approach for you.
Radiation Therapy is used to potentially destroy tumor cells and shrink any brain tumors. It can also delay any tumor growth. Radiation Therapy treatments can cover your entire brain, depending on the location. It can also be delivered precisely to the tumor and spare the rest of the brain. Radiation therapy is often used only for a short period of times. Read specifics about different types of Radiation Therapy available on RadiologyInfo.org.
Chemotherapy (Chemo) is designed to target cells that are abnormally dividing. Since cancer cells divide abnormally, they are one of the primary targets of chemotherapy. For malignant brain tumors, the most common chemotherapy drug used is Temozolomide. It is in pill form and accumulates in the brain in good concentrations.
Immunotherapy is a new form of cancer therapy that is designed to encourage your immune system to destroy cancer cells. It can be in the form of a drug that makes it easy for the immune system to recognize cancer cells. It can also be in form of a vaccine that targets certain aspects of the cancer cell. Lastly, viruses can be used to generate immune responses designed to destroy the cancer cells. There are many research treatments, or clinical trials, occurring currently. In the future, as more trials are complete, we should find more options to help us diminish brain tumors. Read some information from the National Institute of Health.