Treatment for brain cancer depends on a number of factors, including the type, location and size of the tumor as well as the patient's age and general health. Brain tumors can be benign or malignant, primary or metastatic. Even if the tumor is benign, many patients suffer from symptoms if a brain tumor goes untreated.
Historically, brain tumors have been treated first with surgery. However, in many cases, surgery isn't possible because of the location of the tumor. And with the advances in radiation therapy and radiosurgery, patients have another option to have their tumors treated without undergoing an invasive surgery.
With radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, sometimes the whole brain is given radiation, sometimes only a limited area. When the whole brain needs treatment for brain metastases, radiotherapy is delivered daily, Monday through Friday, for several weeks. Some patients may be eligible for radiosurgery, which is delivered with higher doses in one to five treatment sessions. Some patients can be treated with radiotherapy first, and then radiosurgery, or either one alone. Your radiation oncologist will collaborate with will collaborate with your treatment team to decide on the best technique for your treatment.