Every day, 500 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor. They join more than 700,000 who are currently living with the fear, frustration and uncertainty a brain tumor diagnosis brings. There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors which means there is no one answer to the brain tumor challenge.
"Speaking for the Board, we have every confidence in Paul's continued leadership and wish him a speedy recovery. While he recovers, our highly-tenured executive team will ensure that our business continues without interruption."
"Because it was found very early, his doctors have advised him that his prognosis for a full and complete recovery is very good,"
After treatment, patients will be returning for follow-up visits with their cancer team members. A schedule of follow-up checkups and tests will be recommended. The purpose of this follow-up is to ensure that any recurrence of cancer or any long-term effect of the treatment is identified promptly so that it can be treated right away.
Brain Cancer Follow-up
Once a brain tumor is diagnosed, the patient needs to be very careful to keep all appointments with consultants and the primary health-care provider. In general, people with brain cancer are at increased risk for additional medical problems and, potentially, reoccurrence or worsening of their symptoms. Survivor care plans summarizing both the treatments a patient has received and recommendations for follow-up and symptom management should be requested of the treating doctors.
Radiation therapy has side effects similar to those listed above for chemotherapy, but because some organ systems do not obtain a direct radiation dose, the side effects can be less than those of chemotherapy. However, skin damage (reddish or darkened) and skin sensitivity may occur. Hair loss can also occur, especially in areas where the radiation enters the body; some hair loss is permanent.
Despite seemingly dismal chances of long-term survival, these chances are clearly greater with treatment than without. Treatment options and best-estimated prognosis should be discussed with the patient's cancer team.
The long-term survival rate (greater than five years) for people with primary brain cancer varies. In cases of aggressive or high-grade brain cancers it is from less than 10% to about 32%, despite aggressive surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments.
Treatments do prolong survival over the short term and, perhaps more importantly, improve quality of life for some time, although this time period can vary greatly.
Radiation after surgery may increase a patients expected survival as compared to not receiving it at all. Chemotherapy can further extend life for some patients when given during and/or after radiation therapy.
People who have continuing seizures which are difficult to control even with medications generally do poorly over the following six months.
Brain Cancer Causes
As with tumors elsewhere in the body, the exact cause of most brain tumors is unknown.
The following factors have been proposed as possible risk factors for primary brain tumors, but whether these factors actually increase an individual's risk of a brain tumor is not known for sure.
The cause of most primary brain cancer is unknown. The causes of secondary brain cancers are those that caused the cancer at the site of origin.
These factors increase your chance of developing brain tumors:
Immune system dysfunction
Family history of certain types of cancer
Brain Cancer... The cause of most primary brain cancer is unknown. The causes of secondary brain cancers are those that caused the cancer at the site of origin
A brain tumor or intracranial neoplasm occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. There are two main types of tumors: malignant or cancerous tumors and benign tumors. Cancerous tumors can be divided into primary tumors that start within the brain, and secondary tumors that have spread from somewhere else, known as brain …
Primary brain cancer develops from cells within the brain. Part of the central nervous system (CNS), the brain is the control center for vital functions of the body, including speech, movement, thoughts, feelings, memory, vision, hearing and more.
Primary brain tumors are classified by the type of cell or tissue the tumor affects, and the location and grade of the tumor. Tumor cells may travel short distances within the brain, but generally won't travel outside of the brain itself.
When cancer develops elsewhere in the body and spreads (metastasizes) to the brain, it’s called a secondary brain tumor, or metastatic brain cancer. Metastatic brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors. Some cancers that c
Self-Care for Brain Cancer
The person's health-care provider and the physician team in charge of their case should discuss details about home care with both the patient and family members.
Home care usually includes supportive measures needed according to the patient's symptoms. For example, walkers may be given for those patients who have gait or minor balance problems.
If a person has mental-status changes, a care plan should be directed to the patient's individual needs. For example, a caregiver may be assigned to administer the patient's daily medications.
If the patient's prognosis is poor, it is appropriate to discuss options of hospice care and advance directives with the doctors.
Treatment for brain cancer should be individualized for each patient. Treatment plans are based on the patient's age and general health status as well as the size, location, type, and grade of the tumor. In most cases of brain cancer, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are the main types of treatment. Often, more than one treatment type is used.
In general, there is no known way to prevent brain cancers. However, early diagnosis and treatment of tumors that tend to metastasize to the brain may reduce the risk of metastatic brain tumors. Avoiding or reducing contact with radiation (especially to the head) and avoiding toxic chemicals associated with the oil and rubber industry, embalming chemicals, and other environmental toxins may help prevent brain cancers. Avoiding HIV infection is also suggested.
Brain Cancer Exams and Tests
If findings of a medical history and physical examination suggest to the health-care professional that a person may have a problem in the brain or brain stem, additional tests may be done.
Many people will have a CT scan of the brain, especially if the person is seen emergently.
This test is like an X-ray but shows more detail in three dimensions.
Usually, a dye, referred to as a contrast material, is injected into the bloodstream to highlight abnormalities on the scan.
People with brain cancer often have other medical problems; therefore, routine laboratory tests may be performed.
Although many growths in the brain are popularly called brain tumors, not all brain tumors are cancerous. A tumor is simply a mass of cells. A benign tumor is composed of cells which are not cancerous. A malignant tumor is comprised of cancer cells. Cancer is a term reserved for malignant tumors. Malignant tumors are composed of aggressively growing, abnormal-appearing cells referred to as cancer cells.
Most people with a brain tumor undergo surgery.
The purposes of surgery are to confirm that the abnormality seen on the brain scan is indeed a tumor, to assign a grade to the tumor, and to remove the tumor. If the tumor cannot be removed completely, the surgeon will at least take a sample of the tumor to identify its type and grade.
In some cases, mostly in benign tumors, the disease can be completely cured by surgical removal of the tumor. A neurosurgeon will attempt to remove the tumor when possible.
Patients may undergo several treatments an
Surgical Treatment for Brain Cancer
Treatment of brain cancer is usually complex. Most treatment plans involve several consulting doctors forming what is referred to as a multidisciplinary team.
The team of doctors includes neurosurgeons (surgical specialists in the brain and nervous system), medical oncologists, radiation oncologists (doctors who practice radiation therapy), and of course, a primary health-care provider. A patient's team may include a dietitian, a social worker, a physical therapist, and probably other specialists.
The treatment protocols vary widely according to the location of the tumor, its size, grade, and type, the patient's age, and any additional medical problems that the person may have.
The most widely used treatments are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. As mentioned in some cases, more than one of these treatment types is used.