Treatment of brain cancer have several options depending on the type of cancer and the stage of brain cancer. Patients can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy. Some patients often receive a combination of the above treatments. In addition, at each stage of the disease, patients may undergo treatment to control pain from cancer, to relieve the side effects of therapy, and to ease emotional problems. This type of treatment is called palliative care.
Brain Cancer Surgery Process
The most common treatment undergone by patients with brain cancer is surgery. The purpose of this operation is to remove as many cancer cells and minimize the chance of loss of brain function.
Brain cancer surgery is done by opening the skull called a craniotomy. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. Before the operation began, the hair will be shaved head.
Then the surgeon makes an incision in the scalp using a special type of chain saw to remove a piece of bone from the skull. After the lifting of some or all of the tumor, the surgeon then closes the opening with a piece of bone earlier. The surgeon then closes the incision in the scalp. Some surgeons may use a channel that is placed under the scalp for about one or two days after surgery to minimize the accumulation of blood or fluid.
Some things can occur post-surgery brain cancer namely:
Headache – Feeling uncomfortable during the first few days after surgery. To handle this, the patient can be given a headache remedy.
Edema – Other less common problem that can occur is the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, resulting in brain swelling (edema). Usually the patient will be given steroids to relieve swelling. A second surgery may be necessary to drain the fluid. The surgeon may place a tube, long and thin in the ventricles of the brain. This tube is placed under the skin to other parts of the body, usually the abdomen. Excess fluid drained from the brain to the stomach. Sometimes the fluid flowed to the heart instead.
Infection – Another problem that can develop after brain cancer surgery is an infection, but it can be treated using antibiotics.
Damage normal tissue – Patients may have trouble thinking, seeing, or speaking. Or even undergo personality changes or seizures. However, most of these problems can be reduced with the passage of time. Therefore patients may need physical therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapist
Continued action Brain Cancer After Surgery
For some patients with recurrent symptomatic cases of brain cancer, surgeons usually surgical removal of the tumor and then implanted wafer containing the chemotherapy drug. In a few weeks, wafer dissolves to release the drug into the brain. The drug then kills the cancer cells. The side effects derived from chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite, hair loss, and many others.
Chemotherapy is a treatment using one or more drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered orally or by intravenous infusion throughout the body. The drugs are usually given in cycles 2-4 covering the period of treatment and recovery period. Types of chemotherapy drugs are temozolomide and bevacizumab. They are more effective also have fewer side effects compared with drugs chemo old version. Temozolomide alone has another advantage that can be taken orally.
Brain Cancer Treatment Cost
If you count the cost, to the year 2013 cancer specialist at the Hospital Dharmais Ramadan, giving a rough average operating costs cancers start price of about $ 20 million, – up to Rp 27 million, -. Furthermore, the cost of chemotherapy Rp 1.000.000, – up to Rp 15.000.000, – for once chemo. Chemo therapy performed on average six times, so the total cost of chemotherapy around Rp6.000.000, – to Rp90.000.000, -. While the cost of a package of light therapy for 30 days is Rp26.000.000, -.
So the total cost of treatment ranged Rp52.000.000, – up to Rp143.000.000, -. In fact, it may be more cost due to certain cancers, just simply cured with surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation is only done if it is considered necessary.
Treatment Alternatives to Surgery Brain cancer
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a technique knifeless the latest to destroy brain tumor without opening the skull. CT scan or MRI, is used to determine the precise location of cancer in the brain. Radiotherapy can be done as follow-up treatment after surgery. Radiation to kill residual tumor cells as a cause of brain cancer, which may not be removed through surgery. Radiation can also be done as a replacement therapy operations.
High levels of radiation energy is directed to the tumor from different angles in order to destroy the tumor. The mechanism is varied. Starting from the use of gamma knife, linear accelerator with photon, or using proton beams. As for radiotherapy alone uses x-rays to kill tumor cells. Large machine will be directed at the tumor and nearby tissue. Sometimes radiation is directed to the whole brain or spinal cord.
Schedule of treatment depends on the type and size of the tumor and the patient’s age. Each session of radiotherapy usually only lasts for a few minutes. The form of radiation therapy include:
Ie fractionation radiotherapy is usually given five days a week for several weeks. And give the total dose of radiation periodically to help protect healthy tissue in the region of the tumor.
Hyperfractionation where patients received small doses of radiation two to three times a day, instead of a larger amount once a day.
Knifeless procedure is that it can reduce the possibility of complications in patients and can shorten recovery time. If the tumor occurs in the brainstem (brainstem) or certain other regions, then patients can receive radiotherapy or other treatments because the surgeon may not be able to remove the tumor without damaging normal brain tissue.
The absence of tumor tissue samples that can be further investigated by a pathologist, as well as brain swelling that can occur after radiotherapy.
Radiotherapy can cause effects could include, prolonged feelings of fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, discoloration of the skin at the site of the radiation, headaches and seizures.