There are multiple types of brain tumors, although the most common type that begins in the brain is called an Astrocytoma.
Symptoms of a brain tumor depend on its size and location. However, common symptoms include focal neurological signs (speech problems, numbness, weakness, visual problems), mood and personality changes, seizures, or symptoms of increased brain pressure such as nausea, vomiting, or headache.
Usually when these symptoms arise, imaging of the brain is performed. The initial step is often a CT scan. If there is something suspicious on the CT, a MRI is performed.
Another type of brain tumor is Metastases. Approximately 25% of patients who die of cancer, die with Metastases. If a brain metastasis is present, then the cancer may already be widespread. If many metastases are present, then surgery may not be performed and the tumors may be treated with chemotherapy and radiation. If there is only one or a few brain metastases and the patient otherwise has a reasonable prognosis, surgery to remove one or more of the tumors may be indicated.
Electromagnetic therapy, such as the Optune, is a new strategy to treat GBM. It involves wearing a cap containing electrodes on the scalp. It is FDA approved.
At Rocky Mountain Brain & Spine Institute, we make sure cancer treatment is multidisciplinary to offer the best results.