Treatment is determined by cancer's type and grade, its location, size, and the patient's age and condition. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment is when a treatment plan includes multiple types of treatment.
Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors:
- The tumor’s size, nature, and grade
- Whether the tumor puts pressure on the brain's most important areas.
- If the tumor has spread to other areas of the CNS or the body, it is called a metastatic tumor.
- Negative effects
- The patient's preferences as well as his or her overall health
Surgical, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted, and combined therapies are some of the treatment options available.
The first stage of treatment is usually surgery. Surgery may be sufficient for grade 1 cancers because the tumor can be removed. Otherwise, it may be feasible to minimize the tumor's size and alleviate symptoms. More information about surgical complications for brain tumors can be found here.
2. Radiation therapy
Following surgery, radiotherapy or radiation therapy is used to eliminate any remaining tumor cells in the area. If surgery is not a possibility, only radiation therapy can be used. More information on the adverse effects of radiation therapy for a brain tumor can be found here.
Chemotherapy is used to eliminate cancer cells in the brain. It's delivered orally, intravenously, or, less frequently, in wafers implanted in the brain by a surgeon. More information on the adverse effects of chemotherapy for a brain tumor can be found here.
4. targeted therapy
These medications target specific components of cancer cells and aid in the prevention of tumor growth and dissemination.
Some forms of immunotherapy have shown potential in treating lung cancer and melanoma brain metastases. Ipilimumab (Yervoy), nivolumab (Opdivo), and pembrolizumab are three among them (Keytruda).
6. Combined therapies
Combined therapies are also an option.
Treatment for brain cancer is not usually straightforward. If treatment is ineffective, the disease is said to as progressed or terminal. Patients with advanced brain tumors with a life expectancy of fewer than six months may benefit from hospice care. Learn more about brain cancer palliative care.
Follow-up on Brain Tumor Treatment
What exactly is the follow-up?
When a person has a brain tumor, their care does not end when their therapy does. Physicians use follow-up care to ensure that the tumor has not reappeared, to address any symptoms, and to monitor the general health of patients.
Standard physical examinations, restorative testing, or both may be used as part of the care therapy. In the months and years ahead, experts will need to keep an eye on the recovery.
Keeping an eye out for recurrence
Checking for a recurrence is one of the goals of follow-up care. Because small amounts of tumor cells may remain undiscovered in the body, a tumor may reoccur. These cells may multiply in quantity over time, eventually appearing on test results or indicating a relapse.
During follow-up care, a specialist familiar with the patient's medical history might provide a personalized follow-up plan in the event of a recurrence. Some people may have blood tests or imaging tests as part of routine follow-up care, although testing recommendations are based on several factors, including the type and grade of tumor that was initially evaluated, as well as the types of treatment that were given.
Many brain tumors have the potential to recur. As a result, doctors recommend MRI scans frequently.
There are a variety of rehabilitative treatment options available, including:
- Language instruction
- Word related treatment
- Medication to reduce fatigue and upgrade memory
Keeping personal health records
When treatment is completed, a treatment synopsis aids in the development of a survivorship care plan. A few survivors maintain contact with a single oncologist, while others rely on the care of a family expert. The type and grade of the tumor, as well as reactions, medical coverage laws, and personal preference, all influence this decision.
Any specialist who is examining the case for the first time should be given the treatment and survival care plan. These are crucial tidbits to remember for the future.
What happens if the Brain Tumor returns?
With the initial round of treatment, some brain tumors are completely gone.
On further consultation, the doctor will be able to undertake the following:
- keep an eye on the situation for a while
- aid in the management of tumor symptoms
Choosing a Treatment for a Brain Tumor:
Your interdisciplinary team will develop the treatment strategy, which will be based on:
- the tumor’s kind
- the tumor’s grade and stage,
- the patient's recent treatment,
- if the tumor has progressed inside the cerebrum or spinal cord, and
- how quickly it is growing
- The patient's overall well-being
Treatment for recurrent Brain Tumor:
Surgery is the most common treatment option, and it aims to remove as much of the tumor as feasible.
Surgery is unlikely to help in a few situations. For example, if there are several new brain tumors or if the tumor is rapidly growing. It may not be worth it to put you through another cerebrum surgery if the tumor is likely to reappear in a short period of time.
If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for radiotherapy:
- The patient has not had radiotherapy previously
- It has occurred a long time since the first tumor
If the brain tumor reappears, chemotherapy may be used. Regardless of whether the patient has previously received chemotherapy, there may be another medication or a combination of medications that can be given.
Trials in the clinic
Experts must improve medications for people who have had a recurrence of a brain tumor. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, you should consult with a specialist. They can look into whether or not there is a fair trial in certain cases.
The news that the brain tumor has returned can be both shocking and unsettling. A few people find that talking about their feelings helps them feel better.
Implants in the Treatment of Brain Tumors
Implants are utilized in the treatment of brain tumors in a variety of ways. Some of the procedures are surgical, while others are part of radiation therapy.
- Surgical implants
Surgery is the major treatment option for brain cancer, followed by surgical implants:
A. Shunt: A thin tube (called a shunt) is inserted through a small hole in the skull into a ventricle of the brain. Excess fluid from the brain is moved to another portion of the body, such as the abdominal cavity, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. A filter captures any stray tumor cells in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This technique can aid in the relief of pressure in the skull.
B. Implantation of an Ommaya Reservoir: A tiny reservoir connected to a tube under the scalp is inserted during this brain cancer operation. The tubing is inserted into a brain ventricle where the CSF circulates, allowing us to provide chemotherapy to the brain and CSF, as well as retrieve fluid for biopsy. When the reservoir is no longer required, it can be removed.
- Radiation Implants
Brachytherapy is a type of cancer treatment in which a beam of radiation is delivered to the diseased tissue at an optimum distance. During surgery, small radioactive inserts are inserted into or around the cerebrum tumor. Seeds or pellets are the other names for them.
Dangers of Brachytherapy
- The following are some of the risks:
- Cerebral pain
- Death of close-by tissue (corruption)
- Swelling of the brain
During this surgery, the patient may be awake. If this is the case, a nearby anesthetic may be used to numb the area on the head. On the other side, a general anesthetic could be administered.
Catheters (thin cylinders) may be inserted into small crevices in your skull. The radioactive seeds are injected into the tumor through catheters. The catheters could be removed right away. On the other hand, they could be left in place until the seeds have been removed.
The seeds could emit a little amount of radiation. Lead smocks or vests may be required for guests. In addition, the patient may be required to wear a head protector or remain in a secure area.
A few types of low-portion seeds are kept out for a few months or the whole of their lives. These seeds may need to be planted during an open-minded medical procedure (craniotomy).