Information about Brain Tumors at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Brain tumors are areas of abnormal cell growth in the brain tissue. Common symptoms include: headaches, seizures, vision problems, hearing problems, personality and behavioral changes, and balance problems. Untreated brain tumors usually continue to worsen over time. The most common treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Read more at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Information on Brain cancer from the MD Anderson Cancer Center
Primary brain cancer starts within the substance of the brain, spinal cord or nerves. Some tumors which arise from the brain or spine coverings (meninges) are also considered primary brain tumors. Metastatic brain tumors have spread from cancer in other parts of the body, most frequently from the lungs, breast and colon. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, more than 21,800 malignant tumors of the brain or spinal cord will be diagnosed, and just over 13,000 people will die from brain cancer in the United States. The overall lifetime risk of getting a brain tumor is less than 1%. Read more at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
About Brain Tumors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
The two most common primary brain tumors in adults are high-grade, or malignant, gliomas, which arise from the cells that surround and support the brain's nerve cells, and meningiomas, which are low-grade, non-cancerous, tumors that begin in the membranes that line the skull and cover the brain. Read more at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Dictionary of terms for patients with brain tumors
Often, brain tumor patients and their families may be unfamiliar with medical terminology used to describe and treat their cancer. View an online dictionary of terms compiled by the American Brain Tumor Association.
Podcast: Removing a Brain Tumor
Dr. Sunil Patel, Chief of Neurosurgery, talks about the different types of brain tumors by explaining the anatomy of the brain and explains gliomas, the most common type of brain tumor. Dr. Patel discusses how minimally invasive procedures are used to remove the tumor, explains the new technologies used in the operating room and talks about image guided surgery. Listen at the Medical University of South Carolina Podcast Library.
Podcast: Types of brain tumors, their treatment and cutting edge research.
In this podcast, Hopkins neurosurgeon Jon Weingart explains the most common types of brain tumors, their treatment, and cutting edge research that may help in their treatment. Listen at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The use of prophylactic anticonvulsants in patients with brain tumours
1) The routine use of postoperative anticonvulsants is not recommended in seizure-naïve patients with newly diagnosed primary or secondary brain tumours, especially in light of a significant risk of serious adverse effects and problematic drug interactions. This recommendation is in agreement with the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) practice parameter.
2) There is insufficient evidence to support or refute the use of anticonvulsants in the perioperative period for patients with brain tumours who have never had a seizure.
3)There is very little evidence to guide treatment for patients who are already on anticonvulsants but have never had a seizure. There is insufficient evidence to recommend whether or not anticonvulsants should be tapered in this situation and therefore treatment must be individualized.
Read the full guideline at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Stereotactic radiosurgery for patients with metastatic brain tumors
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a minimally invasive, single session, high-dose, closed skull strategy that may be especially suitable for patients who have limited metastatic brain disease and have controlled systemic disease with good functional status. Read the full guideline at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Improving Outcomes for People with Brain and Other CNS Tumours (UK)
The care of all patients with brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumours should be coordinated through a specific model of multidisciplinary assessment and care. Read the complete guideline document at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK).
Abstract: Identification of a genetic fingerprint associated with poor prognosis in glioma
Gliomas are one of the deadliest tumors. A recent study has determined that a certain combination of genes may be mutated in patients with the most severe forms of gliomas. View the free full text at Pubmed.
Abstract: Using radiation therapy in the treatment of brain tumors
Radiation is often used as a follow-up treatment to surgical brain tumor removal. The entire brain may be treated, or just a fraction may be irradiated. The patient's age, tumor type, and the number of tumors should be taken into consideration when deciding if radiation therapy is appropriate and how it should be applied. View the major recommendations at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Abstract: The use of anticonvulsants in patients with brain tumors
Patients who have no history of seizure should not be given anticonvulsants following an operation to remove a brain tumor. There is insufficient evidence to support the benefits of these medications in patients lacking a history of seizures, especially given the risks of side-effects and potential interaction with other drugs. View the major recommendations at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Abstract: Multi-disciplinary teams improve outcome for patients with brain tumors
Patients with brain tumors may be treated by primary care physicians, oncologist, radiologist, or surgeons. However, the most successful treatment outcomes are obtained when a multi-disciplinary support team is involved in the treatment and recovery. This group includes a clinical nurse specialist, palliative care specialist, allied health professional, neuropsychologist, and group coordinator. View the major recommendations at the National guideline Clearinghouse.
Abstract: Using chemotherapy to treat brain tumors
Radiation therapy, used either alone or in conjunction with surgery, is a common treatment for brain tumors. However, there is a risk that the entire tumor will not be removed during surgery, or that smaller, undetected tumors will be missed. Some patients may wish to use chemotherapy to reduce these possibilities. View the major recommendations at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Abstract: The more completely a tumor is removed from the brain, the better the outcome for the patient
Following surgical removal of a brain tumor, chemotherapy or radiation treatment may be used. For this reason, surgeons debate over how important it is to removal all traces of a tumor. With increased effort to completely remove a tumor comes increased risk of causing damage to the surrounding areas of the brain. A recent study indicates that the amount of tumor left behind influences the overall outcome of the patient, regardless of the type of treatment used following surgery. View the abstract in Pubmed.
Abstract: Effect of treatment options on epilepsy resulting from a brain tumor
Some patients with a brain tumor may experience epilepsy as a symptom. As tumors progress, the patient may experience an increase in epileptic activity. Both surgery and chemotherapy are associated with decreased seizure frequency. View the abstract in Pubmed.
Abstract: The role of cell phone use in brain tumor development
Cell phone use is increasing rapidly all over the world, with many individuals using these phones exclusively over land-line phones. Cell phones emit radiation, so their use is often cited as a risk factor for brain cancer. A systematic review of the literature suggests that cell phone usage may slightly increase an individual's risk of developing a brain tumor. However, the data are incomplete and the precise contribution of cell phone usage to tumor development cannot be calculated until more research is performed. View the free full text online at Pubmed.
Abstract: The role of treatment course in future cognitive abilities of children diagnosed with a brain tumor
The brains of children are rapidly developing. Brain tumor treatment often requires surgical removal of the tumor or radiation therapy of the brain, which may harm the remaining brain tissue. The size of the tumor that is removed and the amount of radiation used to treat the cancer correlate with the severity of future cognitive impairments. View the abstract in Pubmed.
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