People are already struggling with their life and having a brain tumor is another hurdle. It is hard to stay positive when diagnosed with a brain tumor. Brain tumor sounds scary too. But if you stay positive, you may find a road to recovery. A tumor any tumor for that matter can drain a person mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally. A person might be stressed and have anxiety which is common of course!
A brain tumor is deadly. It can have an effect on the patient’s quality of life and change everything about them and their families. Brain tumors set no boundaries. It can occur in men, women, and kids as well. The good news is that the primary brain tumor survival rate is 75%. Brain tumor surgery is the first treatment choice for brain tumors.
What is a brain tumor?
A brain tumor is the growth of abnormal cells within the brain. These cells can interfere with the functioning of the brain requiring immediate surgical intervention. A brain tumor/brain cancer can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A brain tumor can vary in size, location, severity, and symptoms depending on the individual. Brain tumors may develop at any age and the exact cause is still unknown.
Common symptoms of brain tumor:
- Cognitive changes
- Vision problems
- Change in speech
- Abnormal behavior
- Decreased coordination
- Hearing impairment
- Inability to concentrate
- Loss of memory
Brain Tumor Treatment:
Brain tumor treatment options available such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, or a combination of one or two therapies. The treatment depends on the size, location, type, and grade of the brain tumor, age, and overall health condition. Brain tumor tests can help in determining if the individual has brain cancer.
Some painless brain tumor treatment includes:
- Radiation Therapy:
It’s when high-energy X-rays are used to destroy tumour cells. After treatment, this therapy is often used to destroy any residual tumour cells in the brain. It’s possible to use it in conjunction with chemotherapy.
The most popular form of radiation therapy is external beam radiation.
It does come with certain complications namely memory loss, hair loss, fatigue, mild skin irritation, upset stomach etc. If the procedure is over, several side effects are filtered.
Chemotherapy is when medications are used to destroy tumour cells. It is comprised of a cycle that is repeated over a period of time. After the surgery, this is provided in combination with radiation therapy. Nausea, vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, and infection risk are all possible side effects that will fade over time until the therapy is finished.
- Targeted Therapy:
This treatment option is painless and targets the tumor’s particular genes, proteins, or tissue environment that leads to the tumor’s growth and survival. This treatment inhibits tumour cell growth while limiting damage to healthy cells.
If you’re diagnosed with a brain tumor, you may consider Fortis Hospital in Delhi which is considered to be the best hospital for brain tumors in India.
Advanced stage brain tumor treatment:
The treatment for brain tumours varies from one person to another. The treatment plan is determined by the size of the tumour, its location, the stages of the brain tumour, the patient’s age, and his or her overall health. A patient can discuss its treatment plan with their oncologist and choose between the treatment options if available.
As mentioned above, surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the most common treatment options for the brain tumor. A combination of one or two treatments can also be used to kill the cancer cells.
There has been an increased number of cases of brain tumors in India. About 50,000 cases are reported every year out of which 20% are children.
Let’s look at the treatment options for advanced stage brain tumor:
- Surgery called craniotomy is an invasive surgery where the skull is open to remove the tumor from the normal brain tissue. This is a very complex medical procedure which is quite risky. The doctors decide if it is required or not.
If the surgery is unable to wash out the tumor completely, it is followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The treatment’s aim is to fully eliminate cancer cells.
To ensure if the tumor is completely destroyed, MRI scan can help in detecting signs of tumor. Another surgery called awake brain surgery is a relatively painless procedure to map the tumor in the brain to avoid damage to the healthy tissues and destroy cancerous cells.
- Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is a non-invasive medical procedure to kill cancerous cells by using high energy beams focused on the tumor cells. External beam radiation is the most common treatment option used widely.
Radiation therapy is the most effective treatment to treat brain cancer and prevent reoccurrence as well. Brain tumor radiation success rate is high compared to other treatments.
- Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancerous cells.
Other treatment such as immunotherapy (Certain cancer cell types are targeted by immune cells.), hyperthermia (heat treatment) can also be used to treat brain tumors. Dr. Atul Prasad is one of the best brain tumor surgeons at BLK hospital with 35 years of experience.
Now and then, new treatment options are emerging in treating brain cancer or brain tumor. Immunotherapy is the latest development where a cancer vaccine is used to encourage the immune system to attack tumor cells. Doctors and researchers are hoping to get the best treatment in curing the brain tumor in future. Just for your knowledge, the brain tumor death timeline is five years with a rate of 75%.