A brain tumor is an abnormal growth in or near the brain. Brain tumors can be noncancerous (b)enign or cancerous (malignant), and can cause difficulty with thinking, hearing, seeing, movement, and balance. Cancerous tumors can become life threatening as they grow or spread to other parts of the brain.
Treatment for brain tumors aims to reduce symptoms and improve function by eliminating or controlling the growth and spread of tumor cells.
Arizona’s finest neurological care is available at Dignity Health, including treatment for brain tumors in Arizona. Learn more about our comprehensive neurology services at each state-of-the-art location:
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Brain Tumor Treatment at Dignity Health
Treatment of brain tumors depends on the size, location, and number of tumors, as well as your age, overall health, and personal preferences. The most common treatments are:
- Surgery: Surgical removal of all or part of a brain tumor can improve symptoms and eliminate or reduce the risk of further damage. Some tumors cannot be removed, or cannot be completely removed.
- Chemotherapy: Doctors may use chemotherapy to target and kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given by mouth or IV (i)nto the bloodstream through a vein, or directly into the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can shrink or eliminate brain tumors by targeting the area with high-energy radiation. Newer technology allows doctors to precisely target tumors and minimize exposure to healthy cells.
- Steroids: Brain tumors can cause swelling in the brain. Steroid medications can decrease swelling and improve symptoms.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy uses medications that zoom in on and destroy cancer cells without harming healthy tissues.
Your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments.
Considering Your Treatment Options
Your Dignity Health doctor will review all available treatment options with you. Together, you will decide on a plan. Factors you may consider include:
- What is the location and severity of the tumor? A small, benign tumor located far from any crucial areas of the brain may not require treatment. However, a tumor pressing on your optic nerve that interferes with your vision would require immediate intervention.
- Is your tumor a slow-growing or fast-growing tumor? Slow-growing tumors (b)enign or malignant may not require aggressive treatment. In fact, your doctor may recommend monitoring your tumor over time.
- Are your symptoms affecting your life? You might decide to forgo treatment if your symptoms are mild or if you don’t have any obvious symptoms.
- What is the likelihood of side effects? All treatments carry a risk of side effects. Your doctor can help you understand the risks versus the benefits of any proposed treatment.
- What are your personal preferences? Ultimately, your beliefs, values, and tolerance for risk and discomfort will guide your treatment decisions.
Your doctor will work closely with you throughout treatment to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as necessary.
Dignity Health provides comprehensive brain tumor treatment in Arizona.