Brain cancer treatment information and other educational resources on cancer are available to you at Mid Florida Cancer Centers. Different forms of brain cancer respond differently to treatment. The type and grade of the cancer are important factors in determining the most effective course of brain cancer treatment. Also, location of the tumor is an important factor for determining the course of treatment because some parts of the brain are more difficult to operate on than others.
Surgery is an important form of cancer treatment because removing a growing brain tumor will relieve the pressure inside the head. Even though some brain cancer tumors cannot be completely removed during surgery, it is still common to surgically remove at least a part of the growing tumor. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are other forms of treatment that may be necessary, depending on the stage and grade of the cancer.
Brain Cancer Symptoms
Brain tumors cause symptoms because they take up space inside the skull as they grow and because their location on the brain can cause other symptoms (such as personality changes or other body functioning difficulties). The following are symptoms of brain cancer, but the same symptoms could be the result of other conditions.
General symptoms caused by brain tumors
- Headaches and seizures – particularly if they are more severe or more frequent
- Problems with vision (blurred vision, floating shapes, tunnel vision, etc.)
Brain Tumor Causes
In most cases, the direct cause for a brain tumor is not known. The following are possible risk factors that could lead to developing brain cancer:
- Age – the older we age, the higher the risk for developing a brain tumor
- Genetic conditions – family history of genetic syndromes and tumors of the nervous system increase the risk for brain tumors
- Radiation – exposure to radioactivity in the environment or through radiotherapy in the past have a higher risk of developing brain cancer
- Previous cancers – certain cancers such as breast cancer or nasopharyngeal cancer increase the risk for developing brain tumors
- Weakened immunity – people with HIV/AIDS have a slightly increased risk of brain cancer
Brain Tumor Surgery
Brain tumor surgery is an operation performed by a Neurosurgeon. However, some brain tumor diagnosis are able to receive a less invasive procedure with radiation called radiosurgery. At Mid Florida Cancer Centers, a radiation oncologist will provide brain tumor treatment to the patient with a new, precise and fast form of radiation therapy using their Trilogy linear accelerator by Varian.
Brain Tumor Symptoms
Unfortunately, there are currently no screening exams to detect brain tumors, but often there are some signs. They can include:
- Lack of Coordination
- Difficulty with Speech
- Changes in Vision or Hearing
- Memory Loss
Brain Tumor Causes
There are two types of brain tumors, primary and secondary. Secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors result from cancer that starts elsewhere and then spreads to your brain. Primary brain tumors occur less frequently than secondary brain tumors. These tumors begin directly in the brain, and are each classified into different categories depending on the type of cells involved.
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