How are brain tumors treated?

People with brain tumors have several treatment options. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Many people get a combination of treatments.

The choice of treatment depends mainly on the following:

  • The type and grade of brain tumor
  • Its location in the brain
  • Its size
  • Your age and general health

For some types of brain cancer, the doctor also needs to know whether cancer cells were found in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Surgery is the usual first treatment for most brain tumors. Before surgery begins, you may be given general anesthesia, and your scalp is shaved. You probably won't need your entire head shaved.
Surgery to open the skull is called a craniotomy. The surgeon makes an incision in your scalp and uses a special type of saw to remove a piece of bone from the skull.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy kills brain tumor cells with high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, or protons.
Radiation therapy usually follows surgery. The radiation kills tumor cells that may remain in the area. Sometimes, people who can't have surgery have radiation therapy instead.

Chemotherapy, the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, is sometimes used to treat brain tumors.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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