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The typical course of treatment for brain cancer may include some combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy depending on the location, size and type of brain cancer. Several specialists are usually involved in the treatment process including neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and neurologists and pain management specialists. Other factors that enter into the treatment plan include the patient’s age, general medical condition and extent of the systemic cancer as well as quality of life issues.
Neurosurgical intervention may vary from an awake, minimally invasive needle biopsy to a complete removal of the tumor depending on the size, location and demarcation of the tumor from the surrounding brain. In general, deep seated tumors or tumors close to the language or motor areas of the brain prevent aggressive removal. However, recent advances in surgical technology and neurophysiological monitoring have made difficult tumor locations more accessible and surgery safer. These developments include infrared lights, optical cameras and digitized instruments as real time anatomic guides for surgeons to navigate safely and precisely. Moreover neurophysiologists in the operating room can help guide surgeons through brain stimulation and mapping to help them avoid eloquent areas of brain tissue when approaching and resecting tumors. These options are comparable to the way GPS systems work for automobiles and early warning systems in the airline industry.
Ultimately, the prognosis depends on the type of brain cancer and the location and extent of disease. Although brain cancer in general comes with a poor prognosis, it is important to remember that every patient is unique and a subset of patients may enjoy many disease free years with a good quality
LastUpdate: 2016-05-11 09:42:46