Delta Medix Patient General Information

Brain Cancer

Brain cancer is the growth of malignant cells in the tissues of the brain. Primary brain tumors begin in the brain, as opposed to cancer that spreads to the brain from another part of the body. Lung cancer, breast cancer, or other types of cancer that spread to the brain is termed metastatic brain tumors.

Primary brain tumors are named according to the type of cells or the part of the brain in which they begin.

Common types of primary brain tumors include

Astrocytoma, tumor that arises from star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes.
Meningioma, arises in the meninges (the thin layers of tissue which protect the brain).
Oligodendroglioma, arising from cells which make a substance that covers and protects nerves.

Treatment Options for Brain Cancers

Several treatment options are available for people who have tumors in the brain. The choice of treatment depends mainly on the type of tumor, the location of the tumor in the brain, the size of the tumor, and the patient’s age and general health.

  • Surgery may be a treatment for brain cancer. The surgeon removes as much tumor as possible without harming normal brain tissue.
  • Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, or protons to kill cancer cells. This treatment may be used following surgery, or may be used alone for patients who are unable to have surgery. External radiation therapy may be performed as an outpatient. A large machine outside the body aims beams of radiation at the head. Because cancer cells may invade normal tissue around a tumor, the radiation may be aimed at the tumor and nearby brain tissue, or at the entire brain.
  • Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Patients who have brain cancer may receive chemotherapy during and after radiation therapy.