There are an estimated 700,000 people living in the United States with a brain tumor. This year, about 85,000 more will receive the diagnosis. These conditions don’t discriminate and can change everything for the patient and their loved ones.
When you receive this diagnosis, you can feel helpless and lost. However, you must keep up your fight for yourself and your friends or family. There are options for treatment. Read on to find out more about complex brain tumors and how they are treated.
What Are Complex Brain Tumors?
A brain tumor is the growth of abnormal tissues on or near the brain. These masses can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). While one may sound scarier than the other, they are both still very serious.
A brain tumor is defined as complex when it is in a hard-to-reach or sensitive area or is attached to a blood vessel. This makes them significantly harder to treat.
Symptoms of a Complex Brain Tumor
Symptoms of a brain tumor can vary based on the tumor and the patient. Some general symptoms include:
- Tingling or numbness in the face
- Weakness on one side of your body
Complex Brain Tumor Treatment
After the brain tumor prognosis, which is the likely outcome of your specific condition, your doctor will discuss the best treatment options. You will probably have a team of doctors working together to find the best course of action. There are several different ways that this condition can be treated and depend on the following:
- Potential side effects
- Patient’s preferences
- Patient’s health
- Possibility of spreading
Surgery is typically the first treatment for a brain tumor. It may be the only treatment needed if executed properly. Due to complex tumors being located in difficult areas, this procedure can come with many risks. Side effects include changes in motor skills, speech, and more.
There have been many advancements in this type of treatment such as cortical mapping, enhanced imaging, and the use of dyes. In addition to removal of the mass, a biopsy can be performed to identify what the next steps will be.
For tumors that are inoperable, your doctor will have recommendations.
Radiation uses high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy tumor cells. There are several different types of radiation therapy. It is typically used after surgery and in combination with chemotherapy.
This treatment is often used to stop or slow the growth of the tumor.
Chemotherapy is the use of medication to stop or slow growth and reduce symptoms. As previously mentioned, it is usually given after surgery in combination with radiation. Patients are monitored by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) every couple of months.
Life With a Complex Brain Tumor
If you have been diagnosed with a complex brain tumor or are awaiting diagnosis, you are probably filled with emotions. It’s important to remember that your doctors are here for you and they care about your health. There have been many advancements in treatment options and you will be able to work with a team to understand where to go next.
Are you looking for a great doctor to help on your journey? We are here for you. Contact us today to connect with us.