Understanding the Different Treatment Options for Brain Cancer

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The brain is responsible for memory, sensation, muscle control, and other body functions. Abnormalities in your brain structure resulting from diseases like brain cancer in Flemington can cause speech difficulties and severe headaches. You are said to have brain cancer when malignant cells arise in your brain tissue and grow to form a tumor or a mass of cancer tissue. Getting the news that you have brain cancer can be devastating, and you may be worried about the treatment options. Fortunately, with tests such as biopsies and MRI, your doctor can help you understand the type and stage of cancer you may have. This information will also help in the recommendation of an effective treatment plan.

How is brain cancer treated?

There are different treatments for brain cancer. A treatment plan is individualized for each patient by a specialist. The one your specialist may recommend depends on various factors, including your age, type and cancer location, tumor size, and your general well-being. However, the patient’s wish or choice plays a part in the treatment plan. Discussing treatment options with your healthcare provider will help in your decision-making. The different treatment options include:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy the specific type of cancer cells. The drugs or chemicals used can be taken orally or administered into the cerebrospinal fluid by a spinal tap. The tap is surgically placed beneath the scalp and attached through a sterile tubing placed in your brain chambers. These drugs can also be administered through IV, where your doctor injects the chemicals into your veins. There are different drug therapies, and each regimen is designed for a specific type of brain cancer. For example, temozolomide is commonly used to treat brain tumors, while bevacizumab is approved to treat glioblastomas. The type of brain tumor and your test results help determine whether you can benefit from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy side effects such as nausea, hair loss, and vomiting depend on the type of drug and dosage used.

Radiosurgery

This non-surgical procedure delivers multiple beams of radiation precisely on the target area using gamma-ray or X-rays. A single beam is not powerful, but a high radiation dose is formed when all the beams converge on the specific site with the abnormal cells or tumor. The rays only destroy or kill the abnormal cells while minimizing radiation exposure to healthy brain tissue. Different equipment is used for radiosurgery, including a gamma knife that delivers gamma rays, a line accelerator that uses photons, and heavy-charged particle radiosurgery that uses a proton beam. Most patients require only one treatment and return home the same day.

Surgery

If brain cancer is termed operable, that means your specialist can surgically separate the tumor from surrounding brain tissue. However, tumors near sensitive areas in your brain cannot be surgically removed as there is a high risk of further brain damage. Like any other major surgery, this carries its risks depending on factors such as tumor location. For example, removing a tumor close to the nerves that connect to your eyes risks vision loss.

For further inquiries about your treatment options for brain cancer, schedule an appointment to discuss with your doctor at HUNTERDON HEMATOLOGY ONCOLOGY, LLC.

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