There are treatment options for brain tumors, including standard treatments and clinical trials. Treatments are different in terms of how often and for how long they are given. It is often helpful to have someone with you during your appointments to help you to understand what is required of you and your loved ones or caregiver. This section will help you understand your options as well as prepare you for what to expect from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Your treatment plan will generally follow a standard treatment plan and/or a clinical trial. The decision on the best approach for you is one for you to make in partnership with your treating physician and your loved ones. The plan that works for you is also personalized just for you. Finding the right team and discussing your options up front, including clinical trials, can have a huge impact. The tools in this section can help guide your conversations to gather your options.
As you’re starting treatment, you will learn the grade of tumor you have and plan your treatment approach with your surgeon, neuro-oncologist and medical team. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy for low grade tumors (grade I and II). High grade tumors (grade III and IV) are more difficult to remove and after surgery it’s very likely that you’ll need further treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiation.
At any stage in this process you may choose, with your team, to be involved in a clinical trial. If you are interested in a clinical trial, this section can help guide you in determining which clinical trial is right for you.
Finding out that you or your loved one have a brain tumor can feel overwhelming. Doctors will perform many tests using medical equipment and terminology you are unfamiliar with. Learning this process can help you feel more comfortable and confident you are making the right medical decisions.
Learn where the tumor is located within the brain to help you understand what symptoms may occur.
Possible symptoms that can be related to the location of the brain tumor or increased pressure.
When a brain tumor is suspected or confirmed, your doctor will have you undergo one or more tests to diagnose or monitor it.
There are more than 120 types of brain tumors. See the most common brain tumor types.
It is important to have confidence in the doctor and the health care team doing your surgery or providing your treatment and follow-up care. Whether this is someone you have chosen yourself, or a doctor or surgeon you have been referred to, it’s important that you make sure that he or she is qualified.
Members of your neuro-oncology medical team that may be involved in your care.
Questions to ask your surgeon to help you decide if surgery is the best treatment option and prepare you for surgery.
Your medical team will work with you to create a treatment plan that’s right for you. Brain tumor treatment depends on many factors including: the results of diagnostic tests or biopsy; the size, location, and growth pattern of the tumor; medical condition, age, and health history of the patient; and the patient’s and family’s wishes. As you make your plan, it is important for you to understand all options and possible side effects so you can make the best decision for you or your loved one. A second opinion is sometimes helpful when faced with making treatment decisions. Ask your health care team about the timing and any guidance when seeking a second opinion.
Standard treatments include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.
For patients with brain tumors, clinical trials are treatment options to consider.
A brain tumor diagnosis can leave you feeling uncertain over what the future holds. Acknowledge your fears and concerns, as well as share your strength with others. Whether you decide to turn to family and friends, your medical team, social workers or support groups – online or in-person – never forget that you are not alone on your journey.
Brain cancer can impact all aspects of your life. There are resources available to help you cope.
Guidance on ways to care for yourself, your loved ones and read stories from other brain tumor patients.
Join the celebration of people who are fighting brain tumors while being an inspiration to those who are carrying forward.