The radiation therapy can be administered in different ways. External radiation uses a high-energy radiation to pinpoint the tumor. The beam travels to different layers before reaching the tumor itself. It passes through the skin, skull, healthy brain tissue before reaching the tumor. The treatment lasts for about four to six weeks, given five days a week and will usually last for only a few minutes.
The other kind of radiation technique is the internal or implant radiation, where the surgeon uses a small radioactive capsule which is placed inside the tumor itself. The radiation that comes from the capsule is what will kill the tumor and the radiation will decrease a little bit each day. The patient will need to stay in the hospital for a few days while undergoing this treatment.
The patient will undergo several procedures and treatments before the actual surgery. To relieve the swelling, the patient will be given a steroid drug such as dexamethasone. If in any case there is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, a thin plastic tube is placed to drain the fluid. The end of the tube is placed in another part of the body wherein the fluid can be easily eliminated.
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays to eliminate the tumor and kill the abnormal cells and to prevent them from coming back. It is often used for people who cannot undergo surgery, or sometimes used after the surgery to eliminate tumors that are left.
Brain cancer treatment depends on the age, general health, and the size and location of the tumor. The type of the tumor and other medical conditions of the patient is also a factor.
The treatment of brain cancer is usually complex and may involve consultation to several different doctors. This team of doctors usually includes a neurosurgeon, who are specialists in the brain and nervous system, and the primary health-care provider. The team will also consist of a dietician, a social worker, a physical therapist and other specialists.
The most widely used treatments nowadays are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The secondary brain tumor occurs when cancer starts from another part of your body and starts to spread in your brain. Some may occur when the person has a history of cancer when a brain tumor is discovered.
Brain cancer can occur at any age between 3-12 and 40-70 years old. Ever since researchers have acquired this data, they have discovered some risk factors. Workers in industries such as rubber and plastic manufacturing, drug manufacturing and oil refining are in much greater risk than those working in other industries. They are also still studying if brain cancer is hereditary since some occur in the members of the same family.
Researchers have found that the main cause of brain cancer is due to mutations of the DNA of the genes, thus proving that brain cancer is genetic.
There are two types of brain cancer: Primary brain tumors, that originates in the brain or close to it and secondary (metastatic) brain tumors that starts from another part of the body and spreads to the brain.
Primary brain tumor is less common than the secondary brain tumor. It begins when normal cells acquire mutations in their DNAs thus allowing the cells to grow and divide while the healthy cells continue to die.