A brain tumor is a rare but serious medical condition that develops when abnormal cells grow in an area of your brain. Some tumors can be cancerous (malignant), but others are benign.
Cancerous and non-cancerous brain tumors can pose a serious health risk and even threaten your life. It’s important to find expert care and prompt treatment if you suspect a brain tumor or you’ve recently received a diagnosis.
There are many different kinds of brain tumors. The size, location, and type of tumor that you have will affect the symptoms you experience and the brain tumor treatment plan that’s right for you.
Getting a brain tumor diagnosis can be overwhelming. To get your questions answered and find the right treatment, partner with Ripul Panchal, DO, FACOS, FACS and our team at American Neuro Spine Institute, with offices in Plano and Frisco, Texas. Dr. Panchal and our team offer comprehensive care for brain tumors.
Today, we’re sharing some common questions that might come to mind after your diagnosis. If you or a loved one is facing brain tumor treatment, it’s important to ask:
Is the tumor cancerous?
Nearly 70% of brain tumors are benign, or non-cancerous. It’s important to understand whether your tumor is cancerous, because this could affect the type of treatment that’s most effective for you.
Tumors caused by cancer are malignant. Brain cancer can develop when cancer cells start growing in your brain first, or when cancer metastasizes, or spreads, to your brain from elsewhere in your body.
What type of treatment is right for me?
The treatment options available to you will vary depending on the type of tumor you have, as well as its size and location. For tumors that are fairly simple to access, surgery may be your best option.
Surgery can remove a portion or even all of the tumor. Complete removal can prevent damage to your brain, but removing even part of the tumor can improve your health.
If a tumor is larger or more difficult to access with surgery, it may be treated with radiation or chemotherapy. Radiation can shrink tumors and help limit complications, while chemotherapy involves drugs that kill cancer cells to stop tumor growth.
What are the benefits of treatment?
The main goal of brain tumor treatment is to prevent or limit damage to your brain and your health. Even tumors that aren’t cancerous can pose risks, so treating them helps preserve your well-being and quality of life.
If it’s possible to remove all or part of a brain tumor with surgery, this treatment can eliminate the tumor and any possible side effects, including brain damage. Removing or treating cancerous brain tumors is important to limit cancer growth in your brain and stop it from spreading to other parts of your body.
What are treatment risks?
Risks can vary depending on the type of treatment you undergo. Surgical procedures carry risks like infection and bleeding. Radiation and chemotherapy can cause a range of side effects that include fatigue, nausea, hair loss, and memory loss.
The location of your brain tumor influences risks associated with treatment. Different brain functions could be affected by surgery, depending on where the tumor is located. For example, a surgical procedure to remove a brain tumor that’s near optical nerves could put vision at risk.
What can I expect after treatment?
Certain types of tumors may make it more likely that you’ll have medical issues in the future. A tumor could return, or another tumor might grow in a different place. If you have a history of cancer, it can be helpful to understand how this might affect your health.
Depending on the area of the brain that’s affected by the tumor, your motor skills, thinking, speech, or vision may be affected. After brain tumor treatment, it’s common for patients to need rehabilitation.
Talk to Dr. Panchal to learn more about what to expect after brain tumor surgery or other treatment. Our team can make recommendations for physical therapy, speech therapy, and more.
Trust Dr. Panchal and our team to answer your questions when you’re facing brain tumor treatment. We’re here to help you understand your condition and make the right choices about your care. Call or request an appointment online today to learn more about your options.