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Brain

Brain tumors may be benign or malignant and either primary or metastatic. Radiation therapy plays an important role in curing such tumors with advanced types of treatment like IMRT or SRS.

Texas Radiotherapy utilizes TomoHelical treatment delivery, which is an advanced technique of IMRT that produces superior treatment plans and clinical results.

Overview

Brain tumors are tumors that either start within cells of the brain (primary) or are metastatic (spread from tumor cells originating in other organs). Brain metastases are far more common than primary brain tumors. Most primary brain tumors originate from the glial cells and are called gliomas. Gliomas can be low-grade (unaggressive) or high-grade (very aggressive). Other types of primary brain tumors that Dr. Cavey has extensive experience treating include: pituitary tumors, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas or vestibular schwannomas, recurrent gliomas previously treated with radiation therapy.

Course of Treatment

Certain rare genetic disorders also raise the risk for developing certain types of brain tumors:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems
  • Physical weakness, often on one side of the body
  • Imbalance or difficulty walking
  • Impaired vision or a restricted field of vision

Diagnosis is typically based on imaging studies such as CT scan or most importantly MRI. Biopsy then often follows to determine the cell type of the tumor and the pathologist sometimes orders special tests to yield additional information about the cancer.

Management of gliomas includes maximal safe surgical resection (alone in low grade) followed by radiation therapy and sometimes also oral chemotherapy pills (Temodar) in more aggressive cases. Radiation therapy in such cases is typically between 30-33 daily treatments.