While standard protocols have been established for the treatment of virtually all cancers, physicians will often modify them for their individual patients. These modifications are based on many factors including the patient’s age, general health, desired results, and the specific characteristics of his or her cancer. Since the treatments described in this report represent the standard therapeutic approaches, your physician may not strictly adhere to them.

The primary goal of treatment is to remove the tumor completely. The most curative option for the treatment and management of brain tumors is surgery that removes the entire tumor. Remarkable advances are being made in brain surgery, allowing greater precision in removing only diseased tissue and reaching tumors that were inaccessible with earlier techniques. Sometimes the entire tumor cannot be removed because it is too entangled with vital structures. In such a case, removing the bulk of the tumor relieves many of its symptoms.

If surgery is not possible or does not completely remove the tumor, radiation and chemotherapy may be used. Different tumors have different sensitivities to radiation; accurate grading and staging helps determine the appropriate radiation regimen.

Select a topic below for a thorough discussion of each brain tumor treatment option:
Surgery
Radiation
Chemotherapy
Other treatments: Heat
Biologic therapies
Rehabilitation therapies
Lifestyle changes
Managing the side effects of brain cancer and cancer treatment


Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor if you should consider participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the government website ClinicalTrials.gov .