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What is the Treatment for Brain Cancer?

Discover various treatment options for brain cancer, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Understand potential side effects and the importance of personalized care.

  • 09 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read

Brain cancer is a serious and life-threatening health issue that affects millions of people around the world. Fortunately, there are a few different options for brain cancer treatment. Whether it is surgery, chemotherapy, innovative therapy or some combination, each type of treatment has its place in the fight against brain cancer. Whether you or someone close to you has been impacted by a diagnosis of brain cancer, understanding the essential facts about brain cancer treatment can help provide clarity and comfort during an challenging time.

Treatment of Brain Cancer

The approaches to brain cancer treatment vary depending on whether the tumour is cancerous or benign and its type, size, grade, and location. Let’s simplify it for you:


1. Surgery

This is aimed at removing as much of the tumour as possible. The different types of techniques include:

  • Craniotomy: This technique involves removing part of the skull to access the tumour.
  • Endoscopic Surgery: This uses a long and thin tube through the nose or a small hole in the skull.

Risks of surgery: Include infection, bleeding, and potential damage to brain tissue or nerves.


2. Radiation Therapy

Powerful energy beams like X-rays or protons are used to kill tumour cells. The different types include:

  • External Beam Radiation: It is targeted to the tumour area with treatments usually spread over several weeks.
  • Whole-Brain Radiation: This method is used for multiple tumours spread throughout the brain.
  • Proton Therapy: It is more targeted and reducing damage to healthy tissue.

Side effects: Fatigue, headaches, memory loss, scalp irritation, and hair loss.


3. Radiosurgery

It is a type of radiation that targets the tumour from different angles. Its types are:

  • Linear Accelerator Radiosurgery: Advanced machinery shapes and directs X-ray beams from various angles that converge on the tumour.
  • Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: This utilises gamma rays.
  • Proton Radiosurgery: This is a more targeted form of radiosurgery. It sends radiation specific to the exact size, shape and depth of your brain tumor.

Side Effects: Tiredness, skin changes on the scalp and permanent hair loss.


4. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill tumour cells through injection or by placing them directly in the brain during surgery. Its side effects include nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.


5. Targeted Therapy

This mode of therapy attacks specific chemicals in tumour cells. Suitable for certain brain cancers and benign tumours with effectiveness determined by testing tumour cells.

Always remember that each case is unique, so your doctor will tailor the treatment specific to you.

Also read:


Receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer is overwhelming, to say the least. Being well-informed and prepared will aid in brain cancer treatment and in your capacity to deal with possibly debilitating side effects. Every case is different, so your treatment regimen will be guided by your care team. Also, make sure your health insurance is the best it can be. Coming to terms with a diagnosis of this nature is a process. Take it one day at a time, and keep a positive mindset.

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