Treatment of brain tumors depends on the type and grade of the tumor. Most primary brain tumors require surgical treatment. Surgery provides material for pathological examination for definite diagnosis and relieves the "mass effect" of the tumor. In cases of benign tumors (grade I and II), complete tumor removal provides a cure without additional adjuvant therapy. However, even benign tumors can be challenging if located in deep or sensitive areas. Unlike in other surgical specialties, neurosurgeons do not routinely practice tumor removal with "safety margins" (i.e., removal of the tumor in one piece with some normal tissue around it) since normal tissue removal around the tumor may have devastating consequences for the patient. Rather, the tumor is separated from the normal tissue and removed with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. In cases of malignant primary brain tumors (grade III and IV), the demarcation zone between the normal and abnormal may not be that clear. These tumors show infiltrative growth patterns - i.e., not only do they develop as mass inside the brain, but also cancer cells dislodge from the main tumor mass to penetrate the normal surrounding brain tissue. In these cases, the surgeon may leave some of this transition zone during surgery in order not to cause neurological deficit. Yet recurrences develop from remaining tumor cells in the surgical field. To impede the growth of remaining tumor cells, radiation therapy (RT) and/or chemotherapy is administered following surgery for malignant brain tumors. Brain tumors do not usually spread to other organs.
Metastatic tumors are the most frequent type of brain tumor. Nowadays, patients with cancer survive longer than ever before due to medical advances. Unfortunately, available treatments are not capable of fully eliminating the tumor from the body. Rather, they impede the progression of cancer. Therefore, the number of patients with metastatic brain tumors is on the rise. Treatment for these tumors should be individualized. In the vast majority of cases, these patients already had surgery and/or RT with chemotherapy for primary disease. General conditions may be poor enough to undergo a major brain surgery. Surgery is reserved for patients with a few metastases (oligometastatic disease), good general condition, and prognosis. There are several metastatic tumor types that are very sensitive to radiation and chemotherapy. In these cases, adjuvant therapy alone is sufficient.
In rare cases, brain metastasis is the only clinical manifestation of cancer. Search for primary origin may not yield a diagnosis. Therefore, surgery can provide pathological specimens for evaluation and diagnosis.
Metastatic brain tumors were once considered unexceptionally lethal. Yet, with modern treatment options, this is not the case anymore. Removing brain metastasis has been shown to prolong the patient's survival and increase the quality of life. In the vast majority of cases, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used to control the tumor growth following surgery for brain metastasis.
Tags: brain tumor treatment, brain tumor surgery
Common symptoms of a brain tumor can vary greatly and depend on the tumor's location, size, and growth rate. They may include headaches, seizures, changes in personality or behavior, memory problems, and difficulty with balance, speech, hearing, or vision. Learn more on this topic in our Brain Tumors section.Learn More
Treatment options for a pituitary adenoma include observation, medication, surgery, and radiation therapy. The best treatment option depends on the size and type of the tumor, the patient's overall health, and personal preferences. Learn more about Pituitary Adenoma treatment in the corresponding section.Learn More
Scoliosis treatment depends on the degree of the curve and the patient's age. Non-surgical treatments include physical therapy, brace use, and pain relievers. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the curve. Learn more about scoliosis is treated in our Scoliosis Treatment section.Learn More
The diagnosis of TOS is made in conjunction with the patient's history, symptoms, physical examination, imaging tests, and neurophysiological tests. Treatment can include physical therapy, pain management, and surgery in severe cases. Learn more about treatment options in our Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Treatment section.Learn More
Warning signs of a brain aneurysm can encompass sudden and severe headaches, blurred or double vision, neck pain, fainting or dizziness, and sensitivity to light. However, many aneurysms may not show symptoms until they leak or rupture. Learn more about this in our Brain Aneurysms section.Learn More
The need for surgery typically depends on the size, location, and growth rate of the aneurysm. Generally, aneurysms larger than 7mm, those located at certain parts of the brain, or those showing signs of growth on consecutive scans may require surgical intervention. To understand the specifics, it's best to consult with a neurosurgeon. More on this topic in our Brain Aneurysms section.Learn More
Currently, there's no standard blood test that can definitively diagnose brain cancer. While certain markers or changes may suggest a tumor's presence, imaging tests like MRI or CT scans remain primary diagnostic tools. Learn more about the diagnostic processes for brain cancer in our Brain Tumors section.Learn More
The growth rate of brain tumors can vary based on the type and grade of the tumor. Some tumors grow slowly and might not cause symptoms for years, while others can grow rapidly and present symptoms within weeks or months. The onset of symptoms also depends on the tumor's location and size. Learn more about the progression of brain tumors in our Brain Cancer section.Learn More
After brain surgery, patients might experience fatigue, mood fluctuations, or cognitive changes. Recovery time varies, and regular follow-ups are essential to monitor healing and detect any complications. Learn more about the recovery process for different disorders in our Brain Diseases Treatment section.Learn More
As we age, the spine undergoes natural degenerative changes. Discs may lose hydration and elasticity, vertebral bones might thin, and there can be a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal, which might lead to spinal stenosis or other conditions. Learn more about spine disorders in our Spine Diseases section.Learn More
Most patients start feeling better within 48 hours of kyphoplasty, with full recovery in a few weeks.Learn More
Recovery from vertebroplasty is typically quick, with most patients resuming normal activities within a few days.Learn More
Both procedures involve stabilizing fractured vertebrae, but kyphoplasty includes the inflation of a balloon to create space before cement is injected, whereas vertebroplasty injects cement directly without balloon inflation.Learn More
Patients with certain types of fractures, severe osteoporosis, or those with an active infection might not be suitable candidates for kyphoplasty. Always consult with a spinal specialist.Learn More
The three primary types of scoliosis are idiopathic (cause unknown, most common in adolescents), congenital (due to bone abnormalities present at birth), and neuromuscular (stemming from nerve or muscle disorders). Learn more about the differences between these types and the nature of this condition in the dedicated Scoliosis section.Learn More
Hunchback, or kyphosis, can be caused by poor posture, spinal trauma, congenital issues, osteoporosis, disc degeneration, or certain diseases like tuberculosis.Learn More
Tailbone pain, or coccydynia, without evident injury can arise from prolonged sitting, childbirth, tumors, infections, or can sometimes have an idiopathic (unknown) origin.Learn More