Treatment options vary according to type of tumour, its size, location and the stage it has progressed to. The treatment may focus on
complete cure or on relieving symptoms. There are about 120 different types of brain tumours, many of which can be successfully removed. New therapies
keep increasing the life span and enhancing the quality of life of many patients.
Tumours affect the brain by compressing or destroying normal tissue and increasing pressure within the cranium. The symptoms vary
according to the type, size, location and stage of the tumour in the brain. Generally, the symptoms include:
- Headaches that tend to worsen in the morning
- Stumbling, dizziness or difficulty walking
- Speech problems (e.g., difficulty finding words)
- Vision problems and abnormal eye movements
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Increased intracranial pressure, which causes headaches, drowsiness, nausea,
- vomiting and sluggish responses
The doctor will first examine your personal and family medical history followed by a complete physical check-up.
In addition, the doctor may also conduct a neurological examination to check overall mental condition including memory, muscle strength,
reflexes, response to pain and cranial nerve function, the last of which is responsible for the physical senses and facial movement.
There may also be additional tests like:
- Hearing Test
- Visual Field Acuity Test
- Lumbar Puncture
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
As mentioned, treatment options depend on the type, size, location and stage of the tumour. Additional factors can be whether the
tumour has spread, the patient’s age and general health. The goals of treatment can be curative or palliative (relieving symptoms). Different treatments
and therapies are often used complementary with one another. Treatment objective is to remove all or part of the tumour through surgery. Chemotherapy
and radiation therapy are employed when surgery removes the bulk of the tumour except a small growth near a critical structure, which can be later
eradicated by chemotherapy or exposing the tumour to radiation.
Surgery is the most preferred procedure for tumours, which are accessible without causing injury to vital parts of the brain.
Surgery can help to refine the diagnosis, remove all or most of the tumour as possible and relieve intracranial pressure. Such a surgery is called
craniotomy and is performed by a qualified neurosurgeon.
Awake craniotomy is one where the surgeon opens the skull and removes the tumor when the patient is awake and talking without
The neurosurgeon may use image-guided technologies, intraoperative MRI/CT scans and functional brain mapping before surgery to
pinpoint the tumour’s location, establish surgical boundaries and the amount of tumour, which can be removed.