Brain Cancer Treatment

Brain Cancer Treatment

Brain cancer treatment is important as it is estimated that around 22,000 new cases of brain or spinal cord cancer will be diagnosed this year. There are several brain cancer types, including: gliomas (astrocytomas, ependymomas, glioblastomas and oligodendrogliomas), which start in the glial cells of the brain; meningiomas, which begin in the layers of tissue that border the spinal cord and the outer section of the brain; medulloblastomas, which are fast-growing tumors that arise from neuroectodermal cells in the cerebellum; gangliogliomas, a type of brain tumor that contains both glial cells and neurons; and, Schwannomas, which arise from myelin-forming cells called Schwann cells.

While brain cancer treatment depends on the type of tumor, its location, size and grade, treatment typically includes one or more of the following:

Surgery for Brain Cancer Treatment
Surgery, called a craniotomy, is typically the first step to treat a brain tumor, but is dependent on its location and if it can be removed without harming other parts of the brain. General anesthesia is given as the patient must remain awake during the surgery.
Radiation Therapy Brain Cancer Treatment
External radiation therapy (intensity-modulated, proton beam or sterotactic) is given after a craniotomy or is used in patients who can not undergo surgery because of the location of the tumor. Internal radiation therapy typically is not used to treat brain cancer.
Chemotherapy Brain Cancer Treatment
Depending on the type of brain tumor, chemotherapy can be given intravenously, by mouth or through surgically-implanted wafers that contain chemotherapy.
Targeted Therapy Brain Cancer Treatment
A targeted therapy called Avastin can be used to shrink certain brain tumors with less severe side effects than chemotherapy. This drug, given intravenously, works by preventing the growth of blood vessels needed for a tumor to grow.

 

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