Your treatment plan
There are different treatment options for brain tumors. Your treatment plan will depend on several factors, including the type, location, and size of the tumor as well as your age and general health. Brain tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Even if the tumor is benign, many patients experience symptoms if a brain tumor goes untreated. Brain tumors may also be primary, meaning the tumor is first formed in the brain, or metastatic, meaning cancer cells break away from a primary tumor and form new tumors in other parts of the body, such as the brain.
Historically, brain tumors have been treated first with surgery. In some instances, patients will undergo radiation therapy after surgery to reduce the risk of tumor progression. However, in many cases, surgery isn't possible because of the location of the tumor. With advances in radiation therapy and radiosurgery, patients now have options to have their tumors treated with radiation instead of undergoing an invasive surgery.
With radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, the whole brain may be given radiation, or only a limited area. Some patients may be eligible for radiosurgery, which is delivered with higher doses, typically in one to five treatment sessions. Some patients can be treated with radiotherapy first, and then radiosurgery, or either one alone.