Terk Oncology manages brain cancer tumors with state of the art radiation therapy techniques. Brain
tumors can be classified into primary – arising from the brain, and metastatic – originating from cancer elsewhere
in the body.
The three major treatment modalities for brain tumors are surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
For primary brain tumors, surgery is often performed first, followed by radiation therapy. For metastatic disease in the brain,
surgery is considered if the disease is limited. The treatment regimen offered depends on age, general health of the patient,
type/grade of tumor, and size/location of the tumor.
In primary brain tumors, radiation therapy is
utilized to control disease left over after surgery, or to treat definitively in patients who cannot have an operation. In
metastatic disease, radiation therapy may be used to treat the whole brain. If metastatic disease is limited and the patient
is not operable, IMRT techniques may be utilized to treat a local region, or our physicians may refer the patient for stereotactic
Terk Oncology utilizes both standard 3D, standard IMRT and Elekta Infinity with Agility™
to treat brain tumors. These modalities allow for maximal sparing of normal tissues while treating the tumor thoroughly.
Chemotherapy is often administered with the radiation therapy for primary brain tumors. It is usually
given orally, and may be delivered intravenously. Rarely, chemotherapy may be delivered by neurosurgery in wafer form, directly
into the tumor bed.
For most primary brain tumors, there is no
known risk factor. Risk factors can include ionizing radiation and family history.
Symptoms caused by brain tumors depend upon the size and location of the tumor. Tumors can put pressure on
other parts of the brain causing malfunction. Tumors can also block fluid from moving through the brain causing cerebral edema,
(brain swelling). The most common symptoms of brain tumors are headaches, blurred vision, slurred speech, balance difficulty,
nausea, personality changes, seizures, memory problems and numbness in extremities.
Important diagnostic tests for brain tumors are MRI and CT scans of the brain. Other tests performed may
include an angiogram or spinal tap. Biopsies are performed by neurosurgeons.