Brain Tumors Treatment
The treatment plan for a brain tumors depends on the size, type and location of the tumor in the brain, patient’s overall health and treatment preferences.
For benign (non-cancerous tumors), surgical or other forms of intervention to destroy the tumor are considered.
However, the treatment methodology involves radiation, chemo and other interventions in case of metastatic (cancerous) tumors.
Following are the treatment options for brain tumors also called Brain cancers.
In Brain Tumor treatment, the first preference is always to remove the tumor.
Removing small tumors in less critical locations is easier. However, tumors located in critical and remote locations are challenging. In some cases, there is risk of harming vital functions like sight, hearing etc. Nevevertheless, neurosurgeons try and take out as much portion as possible for the tumor.
These days, top hospitals do minimally invasive Robotic Neurosurgeries which are able to do surgeries at remote locations with little or no damage to surrounding tissues.
Other Treatments for Brain Cancer
In addition to Surgery, often a combination of the following interventions is done for Metastatic Brain Tumors (Brain Cancers)
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drug that helps to slow or stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells that cause cancer. It prevents the growth of rapidly dividing cells by killing the dividing cells.
Despite its side effects, chemo is still the most widely used cancer treatment option. Unlike radiation and surgery which treats cancer cells at particular locations, chemotherapy drugs can kill cancer cells that have metastated (spread) to different organs in the body.
Radiation Therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation beams to kill cancer cells to shrink the tumors. Radiation kills the cancer cells by destroying the DNA. Cancer cells with damaged DNA fail to multiply and die. They are then removed by the body’s mechanism.
Brachytherapy is an internal beam radiation therapy technique where radiation seeds, the size of rice grains are placed in the location of tumor using a needle, guided by ultrasound imaging. The radioactive seeds keep emitting low dose radiation beams to the cancer over a long period of time. At one point, the seeds stop emitting radiation, but do not need to be removed.
Steretactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is an advanced form of radiosurgery where very high doses of radiation doses are beamed on a target spot using multi dimensional imaging. Stereotactic radiosurgery manages to damage cancer cells with minimal or no damage to surrounding healthy tissues. The well-known SRS options are:
Immunotherapy (also called biologic therapy) is a new type of cancer treatment where the body’s immune system is boosted to help the body fight cancer by itself. Immunotherapy uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function.