Receiving a diagnosis of a brain tumor may seem quite devastating, but many brain tumors can be treated, and you can go on to live a long, full life. This isn’t necessarily a death sentence. You need to discuss brain tumor treatment with your doctor – there are options.
After a brain tumor has been diagnosed, it will be graded. Grade One is the lowest grade. This type of tumor will grow slowly, and will most likely not spread. Surgery is usually recommended to remove this tumor. The grades go up in number, from one to four, with four being the worst. The grade of the tumor has nothing to do, however, with the type of tumor that you have. Instead, it only refers to the size of the tumor, and how quickly or slowly it may grow or spread.
How Tumors Are Graded
The tumor will most likely be discovered via a biopsy that is done. A biopsy is indicated when other tests show doctors that ‘something’ is there, or something isn’t right in the brain. There are numerous tests that can show this, but the most widely know in lay terms is the CT Scan.
Brain surgery is actually performed to get a sample of what the doctor is seeing on the CT Scan or other diagnostic test. In cases where it is possible, the entire tumor may be removed. Once the tumor is removed, it is sent to a pathologist to determine the grade and type of the tumor, and this information will indicate what type of treatment – if any – is needed.
What is the Treatment?
In many cases, the surgery itself is the treatment, with no further treatment necessary. However in some cases, where the tumor cannot be removed, or where the tumor is malignant, you may need additional treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. In all cases, your medical team must determine what caused the brain tumor, and whether it actually started in the brain, or if it started elsewhere in the body. Your treatment will also depend on this information.
February 16th, 2011
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