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Navigating Brain Cancer: Treatment Options and Supportive Care

May 11, 2023

Navigating Brain Cancer: Treatment Options and Supportive Care

Brain cancer is a complex and challenging disease, and the healing process can unfold in many stages. With various brain cancer treatments available, patients now have more hope than ever. Common treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Supportive care options such as physical therapy, nutrition counseling, and psychological therapy can help patients recover much of their energy and positivity. Support groups can also provide emotional and mental support for patients and their families.


Treatment Options


The most common symptoms include headaches, seizures, vision changes, difficulty with balance and coordination, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, and personality changes. Other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, hearing loss, speech difficulties, and weakness on one side of the body. These symptoms can be caused by the tumor or the pressure it puts on the brain and surrounding tissues.


Treatment options will depend on several factors, including the type and size of the tumor, the patient’s age and overall health, and preferences. Surgery is the most common treatment and may successfully remove most or all of a tumor. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to reduce or eliminate tumors. Similarly, chemotherapy uses powerful drug combinations to kill cancer cells and reduce tumors. In some cases, treatments such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplants can have a positive impact.


Is Radiation Necessary?


When it comes to treating brain cancer, radiation plays a vital role in helping prevent the cancer from spreading and reducing the size of the tumor. Radiation therapy is an effective treatment for many types of brain cancer, including glioblastoma and metastatic brain cancer. It targets the cancer cells in the brain while sparing healthy tissue.


Depending on the type and stage of cancer, radiation may be the best option for treatment. Radiation may be the only treatment available for some types of cancer, such as glioblastoma. Other types of cancer may respond to a combination of radiation and chemotherapy or surgical removal of the tumor.


Finding a Cure


While the ultimate cure may still be a long way off, most treatments will focus on stopping the disease from spreading and, perhaps, even reversing it. Unfortunately, brain cancer treatment isn’t always successful. If it doesn’t work, the cancer may continue to spread, which can cause headaches, seizures, vision problems and even difficulty speaking.


When no form of treatment is effective, doctors may recommend hospice care. This type of care will make the patient as comfortable as possible while providing emotional and spiritual support. Although brain cancer can be deadly, many patients successfully recover from it even after entering end-of-life care.


Alternatives to Brain Cancer Surgery


Support groups are vital for patients and their loved ones. These groups offer a safe and supportive environment where people can share their experiences, learn from one another and gain strength and courage to face the challenges of living with brain cancer. Members will discuss their struggles and triumphs during group therapy while providing crucial practical information and resources.


Brain cancer support can help patients manage their diagnosis’s emotional and psychological aspects. Group members can develop meaningful relationships with one another, creating a sense of belonging and community. These connections can reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression, relieve stress, and provide hope and optimism.


Brain cancer support can also provide a wealth of practical information. Members can share knowledge about treatments, therapies, and tips for managing side effects. They can also talk about clinical trials and emerging treatments and advise one another about coping with a diagnosis’s physical, emotional, and financial impact.


Getting the Most From Brain Cancer Treatments


The first step is to understand the specifics of your individual diagnosis. Learn what type of cancer you have, how it affects your brain, and what treatments you may need. Your doctor can provide a detailed explanation of your diagnosis and treatment options.


Next, create a plan for your treatment. It should include a schedule for chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery and a follow-up care plan. Your doctor will guide you in making the necessary lifestyle changes for your treatment. Eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, managing stress, and getting plenty of sleep can strengthen your immune system and improve your health. Also, staying well-hydrated can flush toxins from your body and reduce the side effects of your treatments.


Support is available if you’re considering undergoing treatment or radiation for brain cancer. Contact us at Verdi Oncology today for more information.