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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Brain Tumor: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Brain Tumor

Brain Tumor | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Medicines may be used to reduce swelling around the tumor. These include corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone. Furosemide or mannitol may also be used. A craniotomy, or brain surgery, is usually done to reduce intracranial pressure. It is also used to make the correct diagnosis. A craniotomy is especially important in the case of noncancerous brain tumors. These usually do not respond to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is best to remove them completely.

Cancerous brain tumors are generally removed with a craniotomy. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy after surgery will help increase the person's chance of survival.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy may be helpful to improve or correct function after the tumor has been treated.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

The side effects of steroids, such as weight gain and increased risk of infection, may occur with a long period of treatment. Radiation therapy will usually produce some hair loss. Chemotherapy can cause nausea, vomiting, and a low red blood cell count, or anemia.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

A person's progress depends on the area of the brain that was affected by the tumor and the treatment used. Some people have ongoing disabilities. These may include impaired speech, as well as cognition and mobility impairments. Others recover completely.

How is the condition monitored?

The healthcare provider may order periodic cranial CT scans or cranial MRIs to watch for further problems. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Brain Tumor: Prevention & Expectations


Author: James Warson, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 08/01/01

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