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Treatment options for Brain Tumor

Brain tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous form of abnormal cell growth, which originates of the brain tissue.

Brain tumor is of 2 types :

  • Benign

  • Malignant


It can also be divided into 2 categories-

  •          Primary tumor- the tumor which originates within the brain
  •          Secondary tumor- the tumor which has spread from other parts of the body


Possible treatment options

  • Neurosurgery

  • Radiotherapy

  • Chemotherapy


The choice of treatment usually depends on various factors including:

  • Size of the tumor

  • Location

  • Type and grade of the tumor

  • Patient’s age and overall health status

 

Surgical approach

Usually the first line of treatment in brain tumor is the surgical approach. It involves removing a flap of bone from the skull to gain access to the brain, which is known as craniotomy. The objective of the brain tumor surgery is to remove as many abnormal cells as possible. However, in some cases, surgery is not possible:

  • Inadequate access to the tumor.

  • Location of the tumor in close proximity of the sensitive areas of the brain.

  • Metastatic tumor.

The average cost of brain tumor surgery in India is variable, depending upon the objective of the brain.

 

Radiotherapy

This form of treatment is mostly used as an adjunct to the surgical treatment, to eliminate any risk of further metastasis. It removes any tumor cells, which may be left by any chance.

It may also be used as the prime form of treatment, where the surgical approach is not possible. The cases may include tumor location too close to sensitive areas of the brain or in cases of metastasis.

Stereotactic radiosurgery- A recent form of radiation therapy is stereotactic radiosurgery, in which computerized calculations are made so that the radiation is limited to the tumor site, and there is minimal damage to normal surrounding cells. This consists of cyberknife surgery and gamma knife surgery. These are successful in areas, which are inaccessible manually.

 

gamma knife surgery

 

Most common forms of radiotherapy used for brain cancer are:

External beam radiation therapy

Brachytherapy

Proton therapy

Whole-brain irradiation (WBT) is used in cases where there is any risk of spreading of cancerous cells in the future.

Radiotherapy is done in multiple sessions, depending upon the severity of the condition.

 

Chemotherapy

This is of 2 types-

  • Systemic chemotherapy

  • Local chemotherapy

Systemic chemotherapy involves injecting the medications through veins or giving oral pills. In this case, the drugs used are very selective as all the medications cannot cross the Blood Brain Barrier.

Local chemotherapy involves injected the medications directly into the site of brain tumor. This is mostly used in combination with the brain surgery. The drugs are injected after removing the tumor cells in the space left behind or in the cells around the tumor. Since, the medication is administered directly at the site of the tumor, it reduces the side effects of the drugs.

 

 The best neurosurgeons in India are trained to take an accurate decision about what is best for the patient. For illustration, Agnes from Kenya gets a satisfactory brain tumor surgery from Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon with the assistance of Vaidam Health. She was glad with the recovery after the surgery. She also enjoyed her time while she was in India. This is how she described her experience throughout the treatment:

 

“It was very good. Dr.Vaishya was very supportive. He told me that the tumour has to be removed else it may turn out to be fatal. And he is a very good surgeon. I think FMRI is the best hospital. It has all the modern equipment and the rooms are clean. They provide excellent patient care. They made me feel so comfortable. After my treatment I felt so relieved that I thought that, now, I have got my life back.”

 

 

Author Name
Dr. Kavreen Arora

Published Date
: 17-Sep-2018

Dr. Kavreen Arora

Dr. Kavreen studied medicine and actively practised for few years before she decided to share her knowledge through medical blogs and articles. Since then, Dr. Kavreen has written several articles about the recent advances in various medical treatments, life expectancies, and the best hospitals & doctors across the nation. 

She is a keen observer and likes to keep herself updated with the new technologies. She is an avid reader and an earnest writer in the medical field.

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