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Brain Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

A brain tumor is a severe disease that has many harmful consequences. So, starting treatment for this condition in the early stages is crucial. But it is different, so doctors distinguish the following methods:

 

  • Radiation;
  • Chemotherapy;
  • Brain tumor surgery;
  • Drugs;
  • Radiosurgery.

 

Detecting a brain tumor is not an easy task. It can be benign or malignant. A malignant brain tumor is a cancer. It progresses rapidly and affects human health badly. A benign tumor, on the contrary, grows very slowly and does not have cancer cells. But if you do not start its brain tumor treatment, it can turn into a malignant tumor over time. 

Of course, a benign brain tumor is less harmful than a malignant one. But to detect it in the initial stages is difficult. You can have excellent health and not even suspect any diseases in the body. And when you don’t check your health state, this invisible tumor develops. Then the symptoms of this disease begin to appear. As a result, they need an immediate brain cancer cure.

 

Diagnosis of Brain Tumor

brain tumor and hourglass

Diagnosis of a brain tumor is difficult due to symptoms that can indicate other diseases. If doctors suspect the presence of a brain tumor, they can prescribe some tests for patients:

 

  • computed tomography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • positron emission tomography;
  • single-photon emission computed tomography.

 

For the diagnosis of brain cancer, you first need to undergo physical examinations. For this, you need to contact a neurologist. During the consultation, the doctor checks vision, hearing, reflexes, and coordination. When neurologists suppose a tumor in the brain, they prescribe an MRI. MRI allows them to scan soft tissues, identify the neoplasm location and make a 3D model of the brain.

Instrumental imaging methods show the localization and the grade of tumor. But it is not always possible to determine the type with their help. In most cases, doctors define a brain tumor biopsy for this patient. It is carried out as an independent procedure or during an operation for removing a brain tumor. Based on the selected tissue sample, the neurologist determines the type of disease. 

They consider whether it is benign or malignant. Brain tumor biopsy determines the degree of aggressiveness of brain cells. Besides, it defines their structure. According to its results, doctors establish the final diagnosis.

 

Brain Tumor Complications

If you do not give a proper cure for brain cancer, it can cause complications. Such complications include weakness, visual acuity changes, headache, hearing loss, and convulsions. They can pose a significant threat to life and get worse every day. Let’s analyze them in detail:

 

Complications:

What are the consequences?

Weakness

A brain tumor can destroy any part of the brain. Each part of the brain is responsible for specific bodily functions. So it can lead to their disruption. For example, it can cause weakness in some organs. 

Changes in visual acuity 

A brain tumor can cause optic nerve problems. The optic nerve is the part of the brain that processes visual information.

Headaches

A brain tumor that causes increased pressure in the brain can provoke headaches. It can be a severe headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting. 

Hearing loss

Brain cancer can affect the auditory nerves. And often, such a brain tumor complication requires surgical intervention.

Convulsions 

A brain tumor can cause brain irritation. It can lead to seizures.

 

Besides, there is the worst complication. It is a cerebral coma. If a person suffers from this, it can lead to death in most cases.

 

Side Effects of a Brain Tumor

Even if you conduct proper brain tumor treatment, the disease can cause side effects. The most common side effect are: personality changes, seizures, and difficulties with memory. They can appear due to tumor progression or improper therapy. Let’s consider them in more detail:

 

  • Personality changes

With the onset of brain cancer, every third person has changes in their character. It manifests anxiety, aggression, apathy, forgetfulness, mood swings, and irritability. Most frequently, the emotional state suffers from this. A person experiences a depressive state and gives behavior signals unusual for society. It happens because brain cancer affects healthy brain cells. As a result, there are inevitable failures in the body’s processes. They affect the personality.

  • Seizures

Not everyone with a diagnosis of brain cancer experiences seizures and epilepsy. These conditions are rare. But sometimes, side effects can provoke it. It happens when the tumor is in the cortex of the brain. Or convulsions can be a consequence of brain tumor surgery. 

  • Difficulties with memory 

The brain is the essential organ responsible for our memory. And if a brain tumor influences its processes, it can lead to its deterioration. In such cases, you need an extra cure for brain cancer. 

 

Read about warning signs of brain tumor in our other article.

 

Types of Brain Tumor Treatment

types of brain tumor treatment

Brain cancer is in a hard-to-reach place. So, therapy is a complex process. Any neoplasm inside the brain can cause compression of the brain tissue. Thus, early diagnosis of brain cancer is crucial. When doctors detect it, they carry out various types of brain tumor treatment:

 

Radiation Therapy

This procedure reduces or destroys the cancer cells that form the brain tumor. There are three types of radiation therapy:

  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

This radiation therapy uses sophisticated software and three-dimensional images from a CT scan. It better focuses high doses of radiation on the tumor. Also, it reduces the number of side effects.

  • Program therapy with visualization (IGRT)

This method helps to perform brain tumor surgery with great accuracy. This therapy uses real-time imaging using CT scans or X-rays. It ensures ideal positioning and immobility of the tumor during treatment.

  • Stereotactic radiation therapy

This method uses innovative methods. They allow patients to be still during the treatment. It enables you to perform brain tumor surgery with many types of computer systems.

 

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a method of cancer treatment based on the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. As a rule, doctors prescribe this method to the patient individually. It helps to cure brain cancer in approximately 40% of cases:

  • In general, chemotherapy stops or slows the growth of cancer cells. Every time a new cell forms, it goes through a process to become fully mature. 
  • This process consists of several phases and is called the cell cycle. Every time during chemotherapy, the doctor tries to find a balance. It is between the effectiveness of combating cancer cells and the reduction of side effects. 
  • On the positive side, most normal cells recover over time after exposure to chemotherapy. But mutated cancer cells usually do not. 

It is why chemotherapy is good at killing many types of cancer cells, at the same time removing a brain tumor.

 

Surgery

Surgical treatment is a classic method of defeating brain cancer. Removing a brain tumor is one of the most challenging interventions in medicine. There is a great variety of neoplasms. They have a direct connection with nervous tissue. It’s why each neoplasm is different in the complexity of surgery:

  • If specialists operate at an early stage of the disease, the patient has every chance of a full recovery. 
  • At later stages, surgical intervention can reduce pronounced symptoms. Also, it improves the patient’s quality of life. 

In neurosurgical practice, tumor removal doctors often perform using laser and ultrasound methods. But this is in those cases when the neoplasm is too large. Or it is in an area of ​​the brain inaccessible to the surgeon.

 

Radiosurgery

The basis of radiosurgery is the high dose of ionizing radiation to the tumor. A single amount of radiation delivered to the body during radiosurgery is so high. Thus, it provokes cell death in one session. Radiosurgery has two main types according to the localization of tumors:

  • for the treatment of brain tumors (SRS);
  • for the treatment of tumors localized outside the brain (SBRT).

Such a classification has no importance for the patient. It only reflects the chronology of the development of radiosurgery technologies. But regardless of radiosurgery type, you must undergo a brain tumor test before it.

 

Treatment by Brain Tumor Type

There are more than 100 types of brain tumors. Histological features distinguish astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and glioblastomas. The last of them is the most aggressive. It grows into neighboring areas of the brain and is difficult to treat. In contrast, astrocytoma gives a more favorable prognosis. It is because of its most benign course among all brain tumors. But sometimes, it can turn malignant, requiring an extra cure for brain cancer:

brain in hands

Oligodendroglioma

Oligodendroglioma is a brain cancer arising from a glial cell called oligodendrocytes. There are two types of oligodendroglia:

  • Highly differentiated oligodendroglioma. A tumor that grows slowly and has a particular shape.
  • Anaplastic oligodendroglioma. It develops much faster and does not have a defined shape.

You need to undergo brain tumor surgery to treat any of these types. It is risky because it is a complex surgery. So, drug therapy can also be a treatment option for oligodendroglioma. But it gives minimal results. It’s due to the difficulty penetrating past the blood-brain barrier. Thus, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the most effective ways of oligodendroglioma. 

 

Astrocytoma

Astrocytoma is cancer from mutated astrocytes – brain and spinal cord cells. At first, it is a benign tumor, which can transform into a malignant one over time. Depending on the severity of astrocytoma, specialists use such methods of brain tumor treatment:

  • operative intervention;
  • chemotherapy;
  • radiation therapy;
  • combining different programs.

This type of brain tumor characterizes aggressiveness and rapid growth. So, its treatment requires urgency and a comprehensive approach. Consult your doctor to know what kind of treatment you need for astrocytoma. They conduct a brain tumor test, according to which they prescribe the type of treatment.

 

Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is an oncological disease that affects the brain’s glial cells:

  • It develops asymptomatically in the early phases. 
  • But in the later stages, it grows rapidly and aggressively. 

Currently, there are no drugs that would allow treating this disease completely. But if you start treating after the diagnosis of this brain cancer, you can ease the manifestation of it. Treatment of glioblastoma, in most cases, involves a complex approach. It consists in defeating the malignant process with several methods of treatment.

 

A Word From Lone Star Neurologists

There are many diagnostic and treatment methods of improvement. So, ensuring health progress is the primary goal of treatment measures from the moment of diagnosis.

Lone Star neurologists provide brain cancer diagnosis and treatment. Doctors will advise specific recommendations you should follow. And to achieve better results in the cure of brain cancer, Lone Star Neurology doctors recommend starting it at the earliest stages. It will help prevent the disease progression and treat it faster.

 

FAQs 

  • Can a brain tumor be treated?

It depends on whether the tumor is malignant or benign. Usually, doctors treat brain tumors with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or radiosurgery. You can use these methods and cure brain cancer.

  • What are the first warning signs of a brain tumor?

It usually manifests as a headache. Each time it becomes sharper and more potent. Also, the initial symptoms can include:

  • vision problems;
  • unpleasant vomiting and nausea;
  • difficulty with coordination;
  • memory problems.
  • Can a brain tumor be detected in a blood test?

No. Blood tests do not indicate the presence of a brain tumor. IMRT and CT scans detect it. And blood analysis can only help to check the general state of health. Also, it determines the functioning of other organs.

  • How does a brain tumor affect daily life?

How a brain tumor will affect your daily life depends on the tumor’s location in the brain. It typically affects the emotional state. A person becomes anxious and aggressive. Also, it impacts the deterioration of memory and motor coordination.

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Lone Star Neurology
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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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