Brain Tumor Frequently Asked Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about brain tumors. 

If a brain tumor can’t be removed by surgery, how is it treated?

A multidisciplinary approach is provided for primary brain tumors that require more than just surgery. First, surgery is done if possible, then chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be used, based on tissue diagnosis. Although the tumor may shrink as a result, the main goal of treatment is to stop tumor growth and protect the patient’s condition from worsening.

For many years, brain tumors were considered not to respond favorably to chemotherapy due to the blood-brain barrier that protects the brain. There is now a chemotherapeutic agent that crosses the blood-brain barrier, called temozolomide  (are there any others?), which has been widely used to treat primary brain cancers, as well as external beam radiation.

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