Metastatic Brain Tumors

Chemotherapy is a more evolved and more recently method in these lesions, a substance called Temodal (temozolomide) increased the duration of survival of patients operated for this condition. Another treatment option for benign (meningioma, schwanoame) is radiosurgery for brain metastases. The technique allows a single dose of radiation injury only, protecting the surrounding brain structures.

Treatment is only effective in lesions measured on CT or MRI, which are well defined and have less than 3 cm in diameter. Performed after the treatment, most patients require periodic investigations to assess relapse.

There several possible treatment option in case of brain tumors depending on the type and the severity of the tumor: surgical removal, radiotherapy chemotherapy, associations of these methods or other complementary therapies like corticotheraphy or antiepileptic drugs. In case that surgical removal is needed, this procedure depend on where the tumor is localized and the extensions it has to other nervous cells.

This surgical intervention is called craniotomy and it consists in opening the skull in order to get to the tumor. In post-operatory edema occurs, a second intervention will be needed in order to extract the liquid by inserting a tube in the skull which transports the liquid somewhere else( for example in the abdomen) from where it can be eliminated or absorbed. If during surgery the nervous substance is affected, speech and visual impairment is possible or even the ability to think can be slowed.

There are some cases in which surgery is not an option. In this case, other methods of treatment are radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Practice showed that radiotherapy has some positive effect. This method is preferred bu many patients because it is not invasive and it doesn’t cost as much as surgery, and in most cases it does not need hospitalization. But it was also demonstrated that brain radiation therapy can affect the near functional structures or even the brain tissue. But all in all, this treatment option is not a permanent cure for brain tumor and in most cases patients gain through brain radiation a few weeks to 20 weeks, but can eventually die due to the progression of the disease.

Radiosurgery is another option and can sometimes be very effective.

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