Our specialists use a wide range of tests for the detection and diagnosis of brain tumors. These tests help our specialists arrive at a definitive diagnosis, which is important for appropriate treatment planning. The following are some of the important diagnostic tests used in the diagnosis of brain tumors:
Neurological exams involve the assessment of brain functions, reflexes, coordination, and mental status. A neurological exam helps doctors find out if there are any anomalies in the functioning of the nervous system.
A CT (computed tomography) scan creates detailed images of the internal brain structures using X-ray beams.
MRI is an imaging technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to generate detailed images of the internal structures of the brain. A brain MRI is helpful in determining the exact location of the tumor, its size, and other tumor-specific parameters.
A PET scan is another important imaging technique that is helpful in brain tumor or brain cancer diagnosis. During this procedure, a radioactive tracer is injected into the body, and during the scan, the technologists will look for those areas in the brain that have high metabolic activities, which appear as bright spots.
Also known as a biopsy, this procedure involves obtaining a tissue sample from the suspected area of the brain for analysis.
The tissue obtained from the biopsy is examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. This analysis provides critical information, such as the tumor type, its stage, its grade, and its genetic properties, which are crucial for planning personalized treatment. In other words, biopsies play a crucial role in helping specialists arrive at a conclusive diagnosis.
Based on the information obtained through various diagnostic tests, brain tumor specialists plan customized treatment plans. Treatment plans are made based on multiple parameters, namely the type of brain tumor, its stage, its grade, its exact location, the patient’s age, and the patient's overall health status.
Brain tumor surgery refers to the surgical removal of the tumor present in the brain along with a small portion of healthy tissue that surrounds it. Depending on the location, stage, and type, the following are the different brain surgery types available for brain tumor treatment:
Also referred to as a craniotomy, this procedure involves accessing the tumor and removing it by cutting open a section of the skull.
This procedure is minimally invasive, wherein the surgical instruments, along with a camera and light source, are sent to the brain through tiny incisions or natural openings, like the nostrils. This procedure benefits patients with reduced blood loss and pain, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery, and fewer treatment-related complications.
Administering radiation therapy or radiotherapy for brain tumors is another way of effectively managing these tumors. This treatment involves targeting brain tumors with high-intensity radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. The following are the important radiotherapy procedures recommended for brain tumor or brain cancer treatment:
This procedure involves targeting the tumor with an external radiation source, a linear accelerator, or LINAC. Radiosurgery is a non-invasive procedure that precisely targets cancer cells and destroys them.
CyberKnife is a non-invasive brain tumor treatment that is recommended for both benign and malignant brain tumors. CyberKnife facilitates more effective and safer radiosurgery solutions and positively impacts the recovery rate among patients.
Brachytherapy, or internal beam radiation therapy, involves placing a radiation source inside or very close to the tumor. The radiation beams emitted from this radiation source, which could be in the form of pellets (seeds), destroy cancer cells. The biggest advantage of administering this form of radiotherapy for brain tumors is that it significantly limits the damage to the healthy tissues close to the tumor.
Chemotherapy falls under the systemic therapy category, wherein cancer specialists administer medications for brain tumor management. Chemotherapy involves administering powerful drugs that travel throughout the body to find and destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy for brain tumors can be administered orally or intravenously.
Targeted therapy is a systemic therapy that precisely targets cancer cells based on their structural, molecular, or genetic properties and destroys them through multiple mechanisms. One of the biggest advantages of targeted therapy is that it limits damage to healthy tissues and therefore comes with fewer side effects.
Rehabilitation is necessary for patients who have undergone brain tumor treatment, as it helps them recover and return to their normal lives at a faster rate.
Physical therapy focuses on restoring physical functions and enhancing mobility and overall strength.
Occupational therapy helps patients return to their normal lives and perform daily activities without depending on their caregivers. Occupational therapists devise personalized rehabilitation strategies to help patients return to the best state of health possible.
At times, certain brain tumors or their treatment can lead to speech impairment in patients. Undergoing speech therapy after brain tumor or brain cancer treatment can help patients regain their speech and swallowing abilities.
Pediatric brain tumor patients may find it challenging to attend school during their treatment. Therefore, opting for tutoring services can be helpful for these patients.
Brain cancer specialists devise treatment plans for brain tumors and brain cancer based on their type. This approach plays a significant role in ensuring that patients receive effective treatment for their condition:
Oligodendroglioma is a rare type of brain tumor, and it can be both benign and malignant. Oligodendrogliomas are often treated with radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.
Treatment plans for astrocytoma are devised based on the grade and location of the tumor and may involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.
This is an aggressive form of brain tumor. A thorough assessment is done before planning treatment for glioblastomas, and the different treatment options available for glioblastomas include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.